Movie Review Of "The Skin I Live In" (2011)

The Skin I Live In
Director: Pedro Andomar

Keeping up with my psychological movie thing I have going; the following movie has been described as "a horror movie without the screams." However I don't agree with that description. I find that this movie is extremely similar to Helter Skelter (2012) except this movie deals with things happening to the antagonist by the protagonist.

Dr. Robert (Antonio Banderas) has a series of unfortunate events happen to him, and this movie deals with how he deals with the things that happen to him. Antonio Banderas plays a plastic surgeon whose wife Gal (Elena Anaya) was in a car accident where she was badly burned but being the object of his obsession he takes her to his house where he hides all of the mirrors and they live in darkness until his wife Gal (Elena Anaya) one faithful day hears her daughter sing a song that she taught her and accidentally sees whats left of herself and has a reaction to commit suicide. Gal lands dead in front of their daughter Norma (Ana Mena) and this has severe consequences on Norma's social life and she can't have a normal social life.  But during this time Dr. Robert throws himself obsessively to work on a skin that is durable enough to not get burned, or have a mosquito bites, but still soft enough to touch. He is immersed deeply into his work.
One day Dr. Robert takes his daughter Norma to a party and is shocked to find that she is having a good time. This party is crucial to the storyline because this party changes the plot entirely. In this party Norma is raped by Vicente (Jan Cornet) a dressmaker. Dr. Robert finds Norma after the rape and she associates Dr. Robert who is her father as the person who raped her even though he was the one who found her. This fact is revealed when Dr. Robert goes to visit Norma at the mental hospital. Norma develops a fear and hatred of all men.
Dr. Robert finds Vicente and kidnaps him one day after his shift at the dress shop, and makes Vicente his prisoner. When Norma dies Dr. Robert unleashes all of his anger against Vicente, and drugs him then gives him a vaginalplasty to Vicente's horror. Dr. Robert slowly starts turning Vicente into Gal, and gives him the skin he was working on.
There is a lot more of the storyline as well, but I narrowed it down significantly from my original review where I think I wrote down the entire movie. The storyline is very Tarantino where it starts in the end moves the story to the beginning  goes to the middle of the story then ends at the end. Also the story moves from perspectives constantly as the story unravels with Robert.

Well Antonio Banderas reminded me a lot of his character Armand in Interview with a Vampire (1994) Dark, Emotionless, but with easy personality switches. I don't think it was necessarily because both the characters of Robert and Armand were the same because they aren't. I think it was their similarities that reminded me of each other. Antonio Banderas as an actor has many layers he can go either way making complex to read.
Elena Anaya  evolved really well as her characters developed with the storyline. Her role as Vera and Gal were really complicated to act in because they were so different. These roles force you to think deeper  every time there is a twist in the storyline, and as an actor that is hard to interpret. This is my first time seeing this actress and I'm very impressed with the way she portrayed this role.
I also would like to commend Jan Cornet also did a very good job considering that the majority of things that happened to his character is not easy to evolve with.

Directing choices + the way the movie was made
The lighting reminded me of Miami deco architecture. The colors were bright but dimly lit, and I like this directors choice.  However I think the mood was portrayed well through the scenes and I was lost in the storyline and in the illusion of the movie. The complexity and depth was there and I think that I like how complex it was and how it makes you think but not to the point where after the movie you are still thinking of how it ended  because the ending was satisfying. The ending answers all of your questions the storyline comes full circle and I highly recommend it. It is in Spain Spanish so its a little hard to understand sometimes so I recommend subtitles.

I have a lot more reviews to post up I have them written down in my notebook and I will type them up soon.



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