Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
Spain, 1986. Emiliano Piedra. Screenplay by Carlos Saura, Antonio Gades, based on the libretto by Gregorio Martinez Sierra. Cinematography by Teo Escamilla. Produced by Emiliano Piedra. Production Design by Gerardo Vera. Costume Design by Gerardo Vera. Film Editing by Pedro del Rey. Toronto International Film Festival 1986.
Carlos Saura closes his flamenco-themed trilogy of films with this dull story of thwarted love. Taking place, like Blood Wedding and Carmen, on forcefully artificially sets, this one foregoes the scenes of rehearsal and preparation and plays it straight, starting with two Andalusian fathers pledging their son and daughter to each other in marriage when the kids are still small. Years later the wedding happens, but both members of the couple are loved by others, and the passion coming from the spurned adorers affects the marriage in tragic, unmendable ways. The dancing is wonderful but there isn’t enough of neither it or the beautiful score, instead concentrating too much on weak drama that never really goes anywhere interesting. The “modern” 80s pop song that crops up halfway through is one of the reasons the film hasn’t aged well at all.