I had a lot of hope for this movie, but it seems to be lost in it’s own idea of romance instead of documenting an interesting and varied couple and amazing Spanish sporting champion. The film seems to concentrate on the relationship while only hinting at everything else that is going on in Spain at the time, whimsically flourishing around lavish interiors and beautiful happy occasions while Brody flutters around trying very hard to act like a bullfighter but dear lord he is almost a reincarnation of Manuel Rodriguez Sanchez “Manolete”, honestly the resemblance is astounding. Sadly the film gets everything else so wrong.
Yes the couple were turbulent but Lupe (Penelope Cruz) was much younger and not a whore in any sense, and her look and persona were totally off, but have you noticed how Hollywood usually does that, like in Monster (2003) Charlize was made to look a lot like Alieen but her partner Selby (Christina Ricci) looked fuck all alike, I guess you get your passport if only the main character looks feasible.
“Like a torrid and bitter soap opera with a dash of wildlife, Matador’s Mistress is enough to spark interest in the history of these characters but is easily forgettable”
Sexuality is everywhere but Lupe is master at seducing the lonely yet popular matador, and everyone else. The seemingly quick romance fires up into something darker and more turbulent, as the matador gears up for another match, will his head be in the right place?
With lots of candid outtakes of either genuine romance or paranoid jealousy the film juggles between many emotions, the characters are strong but inaccurate and so many idiosyncrasies that could have been transferred to the Manolete character were cast aside to make him seem like a contact love sick puppy until the very end, and the end is so very long and drawn out, mostly due to it being in slow mo. Generally a well made film that’s visually titillating, but it misses the point entirely, if it didn’t have real facts behind it it would be a sensible movie.
full review and post discussion to come…