Thursday, November 23, 2017

Pablo Berger's latest delight (and follow up to Snow White), ABRACADABRA, opens in Miami

Spanish writer/director Pablo Berger has made three wonderful but utterly disparate movies: Torremolinos 73, Blancanieves, and now his latest, ABRACADABRA.

While each is in a very different genre, each also manages to jump genres, meld them, bend them or maybe just mash them up. In any case, once seen, a Berger film is something you will not easily forget. Even if you don't care for it all that much, it will very probably imprint itself upon your memory.

Señor Berger, shown at left, is mashing those genres with particular ferocity and agility in his new film -- which butts the Spanish male's machismo up against feminine perseverance and endurance, adds a bit of hypnotism, body swapping, the spirit world, matricide and multiple murders, a lot of humor (some of it rather dark), budding romance, and one absolute gem of a dance number. Among a lot else. Yet, as bizarre and sometimes baffling as all this grows, it is simultaneously so oddly enjoyable that I suspect you'll hang on for the ride, which lasts 96 minutes.

The movie stars two of Spains finest actors, Maribel Verdú and Antonio de la Torre (above and below), and both are more than up to snuff, with de la Torre particularly fine in what amounts to a dual role. (The pair's dance scene together is worth the price of admission and then some.)

In the juicy supporting cast are two standouts: José Mota (below, right) and Josep Maria Pou (at bottom), the former as our heroine's oddball cousin, the latter as that cousin's mentor in hypnosis.

I wish I had more time to expand on the delights of this film, but I must cut this one short. If you're a fan of Berger, you'll want to see it; if you don't know his work, it's as good an entry as any.

From Sony Pictures International, Abracadabra opened in Miami on Wednesday, November 22, at MDC's Tower Theater. Will it play elsewhere? Let's hope so.

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