To the reviewer who felt that this wasn’t such a big deal because it’s a faithful adaptation of Louÿs’ novel: if only successful and satisfying adaptations were that easy to produce! It would have been interesting if mubi had thought to provide the other adaptation, The Devil is a Woman, for comparison. Buñuel’s film is a work of maturity: pared to the essentials, leaving you to arrive at your own interpretation.
3-4. I'm really torn, because, as is characteristic of Bunuel, this flick is mostly about political evocation. It takes a while for actual conflict to build between the two leads, but the game played wherein flamenco-dancing existentialist switches with pure-hearted madonna and back, as a man naive about his own lust and power pursues her is fascinating. It feels like a true dilution of Bunuel's politics, too.
What we want most of all are the things we cannot have. Bunuel’s film expresses the tension created by what we project of ourselves upon the world and upon others as we seek completion externally. The eroticism and frustration played out against a background of rising social violence illustrates the ultimate futility of a society based upon endless acquisition. What begins in a bedroom ends in a shopping mall.
"Bunuel, of course, is exercising his own dry and totally original wit. His film is filled with small, droll touches, with tiny peculiarities of behavior, with moral anarchy, with a cynicism about human nature that somehow seems, in his hands, almost cheerful. "
I was completely baffled in the end because I don't see the purpose for the terrorist attack (the bomb at the end of the film). In my opinion, this film's overrated. I know I have an unpopular opinion but this film was just not for me (not something I enjoyed).
Bunuel's final film is one of his most fascinating experiments. He almost completely abandons surrealism, yet retains the same political fury. The only remnant of past surrealism is the use of two actresses to play the same woman. Far from a gimmick, it emphasizes just how little Mathieu understands the woman he's obsessed with.
Luis Bunuel's flavor for wit and surrealism makes this film superior to almost any other drama. It is a fight between sexes intensified with random acts of terrorism and symbolism. Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina play the same role making the character more mysterious and hard to decipher in a directorial masterstroke. Incredible film.