When I sat myself down in the theater to watch Pedro Almodovar’s Broken Embraces I had no idea what I was about to watch. I originally had gone to see The Messenger, but it was sold out…yet again. Regardless, I got the chance to see a film that was already on my list of things I wanted to watch.

Broken Embraces is one of those movies that has two time lines, each of which focusing on one part of the main character’s life. There’s the leading man’s rather dark and mysterious past, a past which includes the lovely Penelope Cruz, and there’s his present…where he’s blind.

The movie is quite beautiful, in almost every sense of the word. Almodovar makes his world a rather interesting one, to the point where it’s difficult to keep our eyes from the screen. The story, for lack of a better word, is interesting, as the idea of people having skeletons in their closets comes fully to light. The movie is about a director, played by Lluis Homar taking on the parts of two roles: Mateo Blanco and Harry Caine; each identity representing different moments in his life.

The movie has some flaws, which I’m more than happy to examine. One of the main problems was that I was bored throughout most of it. I feel as though this was in part due to how there was not much attachment to almost any of the characters in the movie, except for maybe Homar. Asdie from him, you’re left with nearly two hours of trying to wonder why you don’t care about the characters on the screen. The film takes its sweet old time in reaching its finish, and you can tell. While not entirely labored, I think that movies should stop trying to add on an extra 30 minutes when 90 minutes will suffice.

For what it’s worth though, I have not seen many Spanish films, with Italian cinema being my main foreign film genre , but if the two are anything alike, and it does seem that way especially in matters of characterization and plot devices, then i suppose I should give this movie another chance.

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