Thestory : Gloria has a life rotten. A job exhausting maid that goes once at home, with a family life horrible. A husband who treats her like droppings, a son who deale, another that “découche”, a mother-in fine, money problems, no time for it, no pleasure… VDM.
However, this summary is only an appearance. The characters and the story to mask a freedom unsuspected : it is among Almodóvar !
All is said from the intro : there is something going on, enough unlocked to remind us that we are well in the director of Pepi, Luci, Bom… The difference is that this event fits in a place, and resounds with the sounds and music, wife of the framing and the camera movements… in Short, it is filmed in very beautiful way !
In Pepi, Luci, Bom… , Almodóvar was his camera or he seemed to be, filmed seemingly without purpose or accuracy (which proves to be unique and extremely pleasant). Here, everything is much more thought out.
The tone is immediately given. The madness of the previous film is replaced by a intense drama but also much more prescriptive. The freedom of tone, was quickly succeeded by auscultation of the autobiographical, To the digressions, the linearity… As a desire to prove something. Pedro Almodóvar is not a malignant provoc, it also concerns the deeper, ambitions, and aesthetic. All of this translates into a classical number, after the intro.
Unlike Pepi, Luci, Bom and other girls in the neighborhood, THAT IS WHAT I HAVE DONE TO DESERVE THIS ? wants to be more intellectual than instinctive.
For the better ? Of course. But the film loses in accessibility it gains in formal mastery, depth, and precision ; and precision of the game of the actors, channeling the emotions, narrative flow, symbolism more significant, references that are too personal, meaning and scope less immediate.
THAT IS WHAT I HAVE DONE TO DESERVE THIS ? tells a story, that of Gloria. His adventures more or less spectacular, are always translatable by two reading levels. The film is both documentary and ultra-cynical, intellectual, and metaphorically sexual (and vice versa), a film and autobiographical, etc
The quick series, and logic of situations can constantly change point of view, which allows a view almost overall to life in the capital ; of adolescence on the road to perdition, misery and social and emotional, resourcefulness of everyday life, aspirations of wealth…. All this, tinged with a certain distance which brings a bit of dark humor to the situation the more burdensome.
Ditto for the behavior of many of the characters, generally unpredictable. Where sometimes strong surprises visual and/or narrative that will print immediately as scenes cults !
Pedro Almodóvar is, however, less identifiable as a director, as in Pepi, Luci, Bom… ;
Beyond its own personality, the director seems to be looking for a cinematic tone : Nerd ? Policy ? Controversial ? Aesthete ? Classic ? This research, fortunately, is reflected to the image by a print of a mix of genres, completeness. And then, even if it is only two or three scenes, his personality splashes on the screen, and contributes to the impression of perfection that emanates from the film.
Two-three scenes ( the intro, the parody of the pub…), as well as some new topics – the “forbidden” shown not as a taboo but as the logic of life (homosexuality, prostitution) are enough to remember who is behind the camera.
The film is so much more “good student” that Pepi… was. A failure to qualify because it is all the same, a film of Almodóvar !
”a new ode to women, which compensates for its slight classicism, its rated “good student”, by the strong personality of Almodóvar.”
Carmen Maura shows a new facet, a game much more accurate than expressive. A fascinating actress, at ease, apparently, on every emotional register. She is a real muse for Almodóvar, it is obvious. In general, the observation applies to all women in the film, each magnificent in his style. The grandmother illiterate, but cultivated, radine, but sweet ; the whore gorgeous and narcissistic, but sensitive to all… The female characters are evidence of a treatment that gives them systematically a background of complex psychological exciting. Which is not really the case of the male ; machismo, narcissistic, greedy… These emotions personified are systematically dubbed powerlessness in the face of the “weaker sex”. Almodóvar rule their account to men when it magnifies almost in spite of himself the Women. It is beautiful, but also sometimes too palpable.
In a nutshell, THAT IS WHAT I HAVE DONE TO DESERVE THIS ? is, on a lot of points more successful than the previous Pepi, Luci, Bom and other girls in the neighborhood.
Pedro Almodóvar offers us a film of him, it is clear. A movie multi-genre, with many technical qualities, stimulating and intelligent… But who, paradoxically, is less immediate, too classic.
Pedro Almodóvar : Price Light 2014
Pepi, Luci, Bom and other girls in the neighborhood of Pedro Almodóvar (Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón, 1980, 1h18)
THAT IS WHAT I HAVE DONE TO DESERVE THIS ? Pedro Almodóvar (¿ Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto !!, 1984, 1h47)
Matador by Pedro Almodóvar (1986, 1: 45)
The Law of desire by Pedro Almodóvar (La ley del deseo, 1987, 1h44)
Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown by Pedro Almodóvar (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, 1988, 1: 35:)
Home-me ! Pedro Almodóvar (Átame !, 1989, 1h41)
High heels by Pedro Almodóvar (Tacones lejanos, 1991, 1h53)
The Flower of my secret by Pedro Almodóvar (La flor de mi secreto, 1995, 1h42)
In the flesh by Pedro Almodóvar (Carne trémula, 1997, 1h39)
All about my mother by Pedro Almodóvar (Todo sobre mi madre, 1999, 1: 40)
Talk to her by Pedro Almodóvar (Hable con ella, 2002, 1h52)
Volver by Pedro Almodóvar (2006, 2h02)
La piel habito that of Pedro Almodóvar (2011, 2h01)
Almodóvar Producer : Before-first
New wild from Damián Szifrón (Relatos salvajes, 2014, 2h02)
For the programming of the Festival of Light 2014 : go HERE
Projections THAT IS WHAT I HAVE DONE TO DESERVE THIS ? :
Francheville, Wednesday, 15 October at 20: 30
CNP terreaux : Thursday, October 16 at 20h
Pathé Bellecour : Friday, October 17, at 10: 45 am