In the mood for something so spectacularly wrong and creepy, but intriguing nonetheless? Well I wasn't. Then again, Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education
isn't a film you can predict outright. It starts with a desperate actor passing along his story to an old friend, now a director. Actually, it begins with a vignette of a motorcyclist who freezes to death on the highway and is carried away 30 miles on that lonely stretch of road until the police in tow realise it's a corpse they're tailing. This ought to raise a red flag right away. What kind of story is that to start the movie?
Anyway, the actor's story is based upon the experiences of his and the director's school-going days. Although the director initially had no interest in seeing the actor again, the short story piques his interest and he decides to film it. The actor agrees, but on the condition he plays Zahara, the transexual protagonist. The director says no. The actor insists, fast forward a couple of really great scenes rippling with seductive homoerotic tension, and the two go their separate ways. Eventually the two get together and film the movie, but before then the director has to figure out who this childhood friend really is.
It's definitely a noir film, as most of the action is focused on the situation building up to the actual crime. While it's not in black and white, it's got some thematic justice, yo. We're talking about a person resurfacing from the past, dredging up all these long-buried secrets, and involving drag queens, child abuse, drug abuse, hidden identity, blackmail, and more. Remember what I said about the wrong and creepy? I can no longer hear 'Moon River' now without thinking of the scene where a young boy is about to be groped by his literature professor, a priest. And it's funny at times too - not funny haha, but funny I'm going to hell for laughing at this.
While I definitely liked the way the different threads of the film was woven into the structure of the film, I gotta say I most enjoyed it for the male nudity. Uh huh. If I weren't already female, I'm sure Gael Garcia Bernal's little butt dance/pushup hybrid towards the end of the film would have turned me in half a second. Maybe less. Plus his made-in-Spain accent? Hawt.
Thinking of finding out for yourself? Here's the teaser trailer: