Saturday, April 14, 2012

Kiss of the Spider Woman

The many moments in Hector Babenco's Kiss of the Spider Woman manage to show the very clear distinction between fantasy and reality. It's definitely the case as Luis (William Hurt) describes in grand detail to his cellmate Valentin (Raul Julia) his favorite movie.

Well, you've got to admit, hearing someone talk about a movie is a good way to pass the time. (You're doing it right now.) More so if you're in prison where the guards will get violent with if you cross them. Hence why Luis has his movie. Without it, he probably would have been killed by Valentin by now.

Indeed both men are completely different from one another. It doesn't stop them from forming a bond. It also doesn't stop the last two exchanges between them from being absolutely heartbreaking.

There's a brief observation that's quite striking. When he's locked up, Luis possesses a feminine appearance. It's before he goes to prison (and after he gets released) that he looks masculine. The film doesn't provide much explanation as to why that is, but it is food for thought.

Kiss of the Spider Woman is good amid a few flaws. Hurt and Julia are equally good in their parts. Babenco showcases a tale that displays that at times, opposites attract.

My Rating: ****

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