Saturday, 18 April 2009
Bad Education (La Mala Educación) 
This is my first foray into Pedro Almodóvar’s work, and I feel I couldn’t have chosen for a better introduction to the celebrated Spanish auteur’s world. In parts a film noir, in parts a poetic tale of broken friendships and fractured love, and in parts an irreverent, complex and cerebral observation of the darker forces of human nature, Bad Education is a work that befits the filmmaker’s stature. The film has the highly talented Mexican actor Gael García Bernal as a struggling actor who, one fine day, meets his childhood friend, a famous director, and presents a semi-autobiographical story that he’s written; he also expresses his keen interest in playing the part of the central protagonist – a cross-dressing guy. This simple beginning, however, starts growing graver and more disconcerting with every passing frame as the director delves into themes ranging from loss of innocence and faith to identity crisis and dangerous love. Though, to put it mildly, homosexuality isn’t my favourite subject, Almodovar’s powerful narrative skills, combined with his ability to up the ante with brushstrokes from a colourful palette and yet reinforce the moody atmosphere with apt soundtracks, made watching the movie a captivating experience for me. The acting and characterizations, too, are superb and do complete justice to the twisting plot.
p.s. This happens to be my 200th film review here. Let me raise a small toast to that... Cheers!
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Neo-Noir/Mystery