The Skin I Live In ~ (Spain, 2011) ~ DVD

Pedro Almodovar’s latest film is kinky and kooky. What did you expect? Lollipops and Roses? What we have here is kidnapping and a forced sex change operation. Yes, one of the more bizarre revenge techniques on film. And it could only have sprung from the mind of Almodovar.

A doctor who specializes in face transplants had lost his wife is a fiery car crash. He’s also lost his troubled daughter to suicide. She had some mental health issues and had a rough sexual encounter with a young man which shattered her fragile psyche. The man who had come close to raping her, is later kidnapped by the doctor who always seems extremely rational, but at some point you realize he’s a flaming whack job.

The hostage taking and imprisonment, then the slow transformation of the hostage from a young man to a beautiful woman is really the crux of the film. Almodovar seems intent on drawing out gender issues. There are very specific details on the initial procedures of the sex change, including the doctors instructions on how to keep the vaginal passage from closing back up.It’s that detailed.

A very unsatisfying ending however. It was almost as if Almodovar had said all he wanted to say about gender and wanted to then conclude. Almodovar is always interesting for a viewer, but here he’s not exactly all that interested himself after a certain point.


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