El Calentito

"Good"

El Calentito Review


During Spain's tumultuous post-Franco years, the late '70s and early '80s, the ultraconservative and uptight Catholic society began to crack open, and young people, most notably director Pedro Almodovar, came out to have fun. It was a moment later referred to as "La Movida." It's likely that when Pedro went barhopping, he hung around a place like El Calentito, the Madrid bar that gives this energetic movie its title. It's the kind of place where lesbian punk rockers hang out with tranny barkeeps and do drugs in the wildly painted bathroom stalls.

It's a very new world to Sara (Veronica Sanchez), a sweater-set-and-pearls kind of girl who agrees to accompany her impatient boyfriend -- he's been waiting weeks for her to allow him to cop a feel -- to the bar. Once there, however, she freaks out, and he dumps her on the spot. Drowning her sorrows with the dregs of everyone else's drinks, she passes out and awakens at the home of Leo (Macarena Gomez) and Carmen (Ruth Diaz), two members of the all-girl punk trip Las Siux (kind of like the Indian tribe). Carmen is a lesbian. Leo likes to perform topless. Their third member has just quit, so they need a body to fill her spot while they attend a record company meeting. Just like that Sara becomes a member of the group with reluctance, although it's clear she's eager to loosen up a bit and shock her parents.

Las Siux is more about style than talent. Even their song lyrics proclaim what bad singers they are, and they're not lying. The movie could do with far fewer of their atrocious musical numbers. But they have ambition, and even a military coup, tanks in the streets, and a general curfew won't dissuade them from performing an important gig at the bar. The brave transvestite bar owner Antonia (Nuria Gonzales) has had enough of society keeping her down. She's ready to stick it to the generals. The show must go own, even if a bunch of topless lesbians have to storm the barricades first, a threat that sadly never comes to fruition.

Though its probably no fun to live under the constant fear of jackboots kicking down your door, the kids who hang out at El Calentito are enjoying it, as if they're truly living for the first time. That's certainly true in the case of Sara, the film's main symbol of democracy triumphing over dictatorship. Sanchez is delightful in the role, as are her bandmates and crowd of fun-loving riff-raff who surround them. If you squint a bit and use your imagination, you can almost see young Pedro Almodovar dancing in the background.

Give "Stairway" a try next...



El Calentito

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th June 2005

Production compaines: TLA Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Chus Gutierrez

Producer: Tomás Cimadevilla

Starring: Verónica Sánchez as Sara, as Leo, Juan Sanz as Ernesto, Ruth Díaz as Carmen, Nuria González as Antonia

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.