Oh my god! This is the kind of movie I expect from Spanish film maker Pedro Almodovar, a colorful, dramatic, filled with twists film. The Skin I Live In is one of those movies that keeps you at the edge of your seat throughout the film and when it ends you can’t believe what you just witnessed. Of course, being an Almodovar film you can expect brilliant acting, stunning music, fascinating screenplay and masterful pacing. The thing that truly separates this film from others in his own catalog is its plot. Almodovar has never been known as a conservative film maker, his movies always enter a dark realm that almost always involves sexual tension and preferences. The Skin I live In takes this to a disturbing level, at least in my book, it took me in to themes I never thought the general public would accept.
Almodovar always tends to involve sexual themes in to his movies; the way he does it in this one goes beyond my imagination. The Skin I live In has a major twist in the middle of the movie. This revelation comes in one of the most unusual ways possible. As I said before, the main theme in the plot is very disturbing and isn’t for everyone, they way in which is narrated is what makes this movie good. Any other way and this production would have sucked. As I said before, the delicacy that Almodovar uses to create his movies is what sets him apart from everybody else. That is why Pedro is such an institution in European directors. He has won his accolades based on pretentious work that exceeds the quality that’s expected, and now, he even manages to keep opening eyes with themes that wouldn’t have been permitted if it wasn’t him.
The story centers around Berto, a successful surgeon that has managed to discover a way to make skin that is resistant to fire and mosquito bites. This would help prevent the contagion of diseases and would revolutionize the medical world. The problem lies in that he is experimenting with humans without permission. His motives are more than what meets the eye, even if it’s unethical and career threatening, he is dealing with more than simple research. His stimulus lies in revenge, and once you start to understand where this comes from, that’s when you realize how sick he is. He is a polluted person that gets crazier and crazier as the movie evolves. There is no way I could explain the level of craziness the lives in the mind of this scientist. His experiments, admen revolutionary are totally out of hand and when you finally realize what he is really doing, you can’t help but feel hatred against this man.
Of course he has good reason to be like this. His late wife was cheating on him when she got in a terrible accident where she was totally burned before committing suicide when she realized she was a monster. His daughter is in a mental clinic after being raped and witnessing her mother’s suicide, before taking killing herself. He is a lonely millionaire with little to show for in the human side. The narrative begins in the present before taking you back 6 years to show you the events that lead to the inevitable end. The main problems this movie has are more in what you feel about the plot. There is in no way a positive message in this movie. I can’t find a good reason to say “I learned something that will help in my regular life” with this movie. It’s so disturbing that it actually lowered my Emotional IQ and understanding of human behavior. Pedro you did it, you destroyed my hope in life. Seriously, I don’t understand how someone can create such a story. Well maybe if I look at Pedro’s back catalog I can understand how he got to this point.
Anyhow, the movie is perfect in the technical side. Everything from pacing, music, cinematography, screenplay and sound is excellent. Directing is awesome and you wont take your eyes of the silver screen. The movie achieves what it should, it entertains you while it lasts. Would I recommend it? I don’t know, people may think i’m as crazy as Pedro if I do! A good movie that leaves me questioning the motives of why deal with a plot like this.