Review: Broken Embraces

Broken Embraces, a film by the prolific Pedro Almodovar, proves to be as attractive to the eye as most of his films… but a little broken in pacing.

It sure is difficult to summarise… A blind writer looks back in anger fourteen years, to a time when he was a film-maker, to correct mistakes he and others had made, and discover unseen treachery.

The film is, like many of Almodovar’s films, beautifully shot and composed; colours are vibrant, characters are deep and stuffed to the gills with sexual tension and lust. But I’m afraid the film lost me early on with a yo-yo’ing plot that relied heavily on flashbacks and a multitude of characters.
The thriller’s third act did settle this confusion nicely however, as the puzzle pieces began to fit together. It does make for an arduous first hour or so, but whenever it settles inside one of its two time frames, it is very well made.

I much preferred Almodovar’s Live Flesh, which felt like it had greater consistency than this, but I still appreciate the man’s ability to capture high emotion, and package it in a more subtle atmosphere. I will continue to view more of his films.

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