Pain and Glory (2019)


“The nights that coincide several pains, those nights I believe in God and I pray to him. The days when I only suffer a type of pain I’m an atheist. ” – Salvador

Number of Times Seen – 1 (27 Dec 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A film director who is having writers block tries to recall memories of his childhood in order to unlock his creative voice.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I came across while going through films that have been getting award season hype and was quite curious to see what it was all about.

The overall idea of this film is quite good but they muddle things too much when they attempt to show this story from a very abstract and existential perspective.

The thematic ideas of the film are actually quite good but they get lost along the way.

Instead of trying to tell this story in a more straight way, things get a bit too convoluted due to the very non-linear fashion that they present things in.

Antonio Banderas does a nice job with this lead character and I can understand how he has gotten many accolades and credit for his work here, yet something constantly feels missing along the way both from the perspective of the character and the story which is quite a shame.

The sequences presented here in the present and past are nicely contrasted and we get to see the various differences in tone and structure between them and it would seem that if this story was told in a different way, things might have been much more enjoyable to watch unfold.

Bottom Line – Intriguing idea that is muddled by the fact that the film tries too hard to be abstract and work on an existential level. The film has some nice ideas but they get lost in the shuffle and instead of telling this story in a straight fashion, it gets too convoluted by the non linear aspect of things. Banderas does a nice job with his role and I can understand how he has received acclaim for his role, but something still feels missing along the way both from the character and the story on a whole.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In this self-referential movie encapsulating the early and later life of its director, “deporting Salvador Mallo” is an anagram of “stalling Pedro Almodóvar”. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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