Dr. Robert Ledgard (played by Antonio Banderas) is an eminent plastic surgeon and research scientist in Toledo, Spain. Several years ago, his wife was critically burned in a fiery car accident and he cared for her through her pain, until she lost her battle and died. His life since has been punctuated by tragedy and he now spends his days developing the perfect artificial skin that can withstand serious trauma such as cuts or fire. He conducts his experiments in the basement of his mansion, where he lives with his housekeeper Marilia (by Marisa Paredes) and his beautiful patient Vera (by Elena Anaya). As we watch Dr Ledgard work and learn about his past, we begin to understand the strange relationships he has with both Marilia and Vera, the weird goings-on in the house and the tragedies that have driven him to his bizarre work ….
This is a good movie. The actions of Dr Ledgard are marvellously cold and soul-less and Antonio Banderas is perfect in this role – handsome, cruel, cold and calculating. His creation, the stunningly beautiful Vera, is inanimate in her own way – which is compelling. Elena Anaya portrays Vera beautifully. Marisa Paredes is also great as the pathetic and protective housekeeper, Marilia. The drama is timed well and the secrets of this strange household are revealed gradually through current day actions and scenarios from the past. I didn’t feel emotionally involved with the story, but was fascinated by the characters. Each one has a specific role to play, including the two other males – Vicente (by Jan Cornet) and Zeca (by Robert Alamo) – who are both very important to the story. One thing I thought was weird though – the “action” is very forced. For example any fight sequences, violence or physical movement seems to be very artificial – particularly where there are gunshots – they are not right somehow. The plot offers a strange concept with its basis in science fiction, but it does almost cross the line into the plausible – which makes it wickedly fascinating. The movie won several foreign language film awards during 2012 – well done Pedro Almodovar.
Made in 2011. Directed by Pedro Almodovar