OK, no surprises that my second blog review would come from the same Pedro Almodovar box set. This time it's Bad Education (2004).
Bad Education explores the story of Ignacio (Gael Garía Bernal), and Enrique Goded (Fele Martínez), two childhood friends who shared a childhood sweetheart romance. Fate rips the two apart until Enrique is reunited with Ignacio, now known as Angel, as he seeks to have one of his stories, The Visit, turned into a film. The film explores Ignacio's childhood experiences at school and the victimisation and trauma he received during his school through the hands of Father Manolo (Daniel Giménez Cacho).
The film explores childhood victimisation, sexual orientation and the reality with dealing with very traumatic events for the main character, Angel. This is not a nice film, although the suspense and mystery around the film suspend from too much of that darkness coming to the forefront. I liked the format of the film switching between different time frames, and the plot doesn't really reveal itself until towards the end of the film. There is suspense and mystery - which is sustained well through the film. The script is very good and original. The acting is outstanding.
It's not until the end of the film, as I sit down to write this, that the message it leaves is far darker and upsetting then you initially think whilst watching the film. The film is shot in fairly bright colours, and the flow of the film tends to give a more positive, upbeat feel to the film, which I think masks some of the darker elements of the film. Left now to write about the film I am focusing of the ideas of child grooming, paedophilia, child abuse in the Catholic church, struggling with your sexual identity during a time when there was little acceptance and understanding (1980) and exploring drug abuse and how all these effect not just the individual, but the others around you.
This film I find has a good balance to keep the film afloat with enough buoyancy to not let you get caught up in the horrific content of the film. It makes the film watchable. This helps bring attention to and gives people an insight and consideration to the struggle some people go through with childhood abuse and sexuality. However, now I am left analysing the reality of such a person, and wondering how very different reality can be from film.