Starring: Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, Julieta Serrano
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Running Time: 90 mins
Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios is a Spanish film about a woman whose lover leaves her, sending her into a nervous breakdown. A friend of hers, afraid the police will target her for associating with Shiite terrorists, and when the two join up, chaos ensues…
This film was extremely messy. It tried to implement various genres into just one story, with the comedic element being intended to rise above all others. However, it ended up becoming too serious, too complex, and sadly eventually relatively boring.
Initially, I found this film very promising. Bringing in a very entertainingly surreal atmosphere was something a little different, and based around the extremely odd surroundings of the principal character, where she worked in ADR, it was quite funny to start off with.
There were various examples of fantastic comedy, based on the characters’ hardships and bizarre relationships in their lives, leading to them hanging on the verge of this nervous breakdown…
However, once this more crime/mystery-oriented story about the police coming over kicked in, everything just took a turn for the worse.
Of course, the story still remained relatively comedic, mostly demonstrated by a completely farcical climax, however for the most part it pulled away completely from the atmosphere and tone set in the initial part of the film, which made the story much more boring to follow, and the evident intents for a more serious story, while still keeping it funny ended up as a bit of a failure in the end.
Overall, I’ll give this a 6.8, because it was initially clever and funny, but ultimately over-ambitious and consequently complex and boring to watch.