Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. France/Spain, 1997. El Deseo, CiBy 2000, France 3 Cinéma. Screenplay by Pedro Almodovar, Jorge Guerricaechevarria, Ray Loriga, based on the novel by Ruth Rendell. Cinematography by Affonso Beato. Produced by Agustín Almodóvar. Music by Alberto Iglesias. Production Design by Antxon Gomez. Costume Design by Jose Maria de Cossio. Film Editing by José Salcedo.
Pedro Almodovar’s terrific film is a complex story of jealousy and revenge. Handsome Liberto Rabal (grandson of Francisco) goes to jail for shooting and permanently crippling a policeman (Javier Bardem), and upon his release years later returns to his victim to see if he can set things right. However, as Rabal’s relationship with Bardem’s beautiful wife (Francesca Neri) grows stronger, the cop begins to wonder just what this mysterious young man has in mind to do. Adapted loosely from a novel by American writer Ruth Rendel, the narrative is pulled off beautifully by an effortless script, and all the performances are top notch. Look for Penelope Cruz in her first collaboration with the Spanish maestro.