I finally got round to watching Bad Education/La Mala Educación. To start with, I must confess that I’ve always been a huge Almodóvar fan. I adore the visual look and the seemingly serendipitous storylines that always become crystal clear at the end… I’ve just always felt very much at home in the worlds he creates, while at the same time finding his vision fresh and exotic.
I remember seeing Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios and thinking this is the way films are supposed to look and make you feel. An experience a bit similar to seeing your first Fellini film. By the time I’d seen ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto?!! and Tacone Lejanos I was completely sold. Umm actually that might have happened already back when I saw young Antonio Banderas (unknown outside Spain back then) in Laberinto de pasiones and later in ¡Átame!. *drool*
Anyways, the point I was trying to make was that I’ve always loved pretty much every film he’s ever made. And yet, despite all the good reviews, Bad Education left me cold and a bit disappointed. Yes sure, Gael García Bernal was very cute and gave a very touching performance. But somehow the story managed to completely pull the rug from beneath his feet and invalidate his whole performance. And yes the film dealt with difficult issues, with flourish to start with, but then managed to somehow undermine all the groundwork put in and offer these easy solutions… or no solutions at all actually.
Ahh I don’t know… I just found the whole thing a bit… dare I say it easy. And that annoyed me very much. All these very dated attempts of shocking the audience, the overly simplistic twist of the simplistic plot… it all made me wonder exactly what audiences this film was aimed for? Could it be a coincidence that all the reviews claiming this to be his best film to date seem to come from the US… Who knows… Ok, it did look good. And it did feel like an Almodóvar film. But in the same league as Hable con ella it wasn’t, nowhere near.