Law of Desire (1987)

Law of Desire (1987)

Pedro Almodóvar solidified his vision of desire in this campy and chaotic LGBT melodrama

7.6

Movie

Spain
Spanish
Comedy, Drama, Romance, Thriller
1987
PEDRO ALMODÓVAR
Agustín Almodóvar, Alfonso Vallejo, Antonio Banderas
102 min

TLDR

Happy Pride!

What it's about

After breaking up with his younger boyfriend Juan, gay film director Pablo attracts the attention of obsessive fan Antonio, which ends up inspiring his new play starring his trans sister Tina.

The take

When falling in love with another, or when another person falls in love with you, the relationship is formed by the ideas in your and their heads, specifically about your dynamic, your respective personalities, and the potential outcome of this love. Law of Desire is centered on this idea, unfolding through a chaotic gay love triangle that demonstrates the ways the ideas and fantasies can differ. And as the characters inevitably go through fairly melodramatic reactions when they realize the desires of another person, in the most colorful fashion (literally and figuratively), Pedro Almodóvar creates an amusing and daring examination of the genre it’s inspired by.

What stands out

The trans Tina Quintero was portrayed by cis Carmen Maura, while Tina’s cis co-parent was portrayed by trans Bibiana Fernández, which is an interesting choice, but it’s the kind of casting decision that lines up with the themes of the film. While recently cisgender actors have been criticized for portraying transgender roles, this might be the one exception.

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