Law Of Desire (1987)

Directed by
7/10 - Almodovar in full melodrama mode
Reviewed by Simon on 2013-07-13

Pablo is a film maker who has achieved reasonable success, and who lives a relatively carefree life of hedonism, marred only by the fact that the young boy he is in love with does not reciprocate to quite the degree he would like. When the boy leaves town, Pablo meets Antonio (Antonio Banderas) and takes him home for a one night stand - not realising that Antonio has been stalking Pablo for some time, and harbours a deep obsession for him. Carmen Maura plays Pablo's sister Tina, a character with her own troubles and a dark past.

LAW OF DESIRE features Almodovar in full melodrama mode, with a story of obsession, lust, murder, incest, amnesia, Catholicism, drugs, and all the other fine things that Madrid had to offer to a liberally minded man in the 1980's. It's quite candid in its depiction of gay sex and drug usage, and quite irreverent in its treatment of church, family, the police and... well, most other things.

It's not a film with a great deal of focus... Pablo's asymmetrically obsessive relationships provide the backbone of the narrative, but relatively little of the meat. The dynamics are arguably more interesting between Pablo, his sister, and the precocious little girl who seems to follow her everywhere. Plot developments take a turn for the soap opera towards the end, bringing surprisingly little resolution when it's all over.