Pain and Glory (2019) - Spain
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
This film brings the audience into the minds and journey of the main character as he goes thru life ups and downs. Director Pedro Almodóvar perfectly combines these spectrum of life from youth to middle age and retirement to a film about loss, love, imagination and memory. What we end up getting is a powerful film that portrays how fragile a mind is and how events in different segments of our lives shape who we are and how we go about living.
Antonio Banderas is simply sensational as he struggles to deal with everything that have thrown to him in life both mentally and physically. It is easily Banderas’s best performance to date as he smoke himself into a deep spiral of emotions within a man in crisis. Penélope Cruz plays the “younger mother” in flashbacks and is far more at home in Spanish roles than her Hollywood career. Asier Etxeandia plays the other actor who once worked with Banderas and frowns himself with heroine to feel and live. A difficult role to play that he manages to make a lively character out of, particularly in his interactions with Banderas.
All in all, “Pain and Glory” is a painful experience to get thru for the on-screen character as well as for the audience to endure themselves. We ponders and look on with regret as we witness Banderas struggles to deal with his on physical and spiritual self and it is not until the end the film that Director Pedro Almodóvar brings back some glimmer of hope as we witness a final twist of tale.
I rated this 8/10