EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|EROTICA (director/writer: Emilio Fernandez; cinematographer: Daniel López; editor: Jorge Bustos; music: Gustavo César Carrión; cast: Jorge Rivero (José Luis), Rebeca Silva (Erótica), Jaime Moreno (Antonio), Emilio Fernández (Commander Hernández); Runtime: 82; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Nicolás Reyero; Conacite Uno; 1979/Mexico, in Spanish with English subtitles)|
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The film opens as two men rob a safe. They get into a shootout with a security guard. The guard is killed and one of the robbers is wounded. The wounded man is imprisoned, while the other flees to meet his girlfriend Erótica (Silva). They go by motorboat to their deserted beach hideaway. Antonio (Moreno) lives with Erótica for over a year in isolation, where they get money when she walks into town to sell sponges clad in a transparent blouse. Antonio's partner in crime José Luis (Rivero) escapes and shows up at the same island. Antonio welcomes him, but Erótica threatens to leave if he stays. When Antonio leaves instead, he nevertheless soon returns wounded after a shootout with police. The sexy woman nurses him back to health. Antonio goes on a drunk binge and orders Erótica to sell the sponges in town to get more rum. In town, a man tries to rape her but José Luis comes to her rescue.
Erótica no longer loves her lazy and moody boyfriend and flirts with the equally hot José Luis. The love triangle gets played out in violence. José Luis beats off Antonio, after he threatens to kill Erótica. Filled with rage, Antonio goes into town and shoots a shopkeeper who tries to stop him from stealing his rifle. For the first time, the locals cooperate with the police and tell where the hideout is. Commander Hernández goes there with two other policemen.
This is the last film from director/actor Emilio Fernandez in a career that spans 60 years. He's considered an important figure in Mexican cinema, if not the most important. He was a regular in Sam Peckinpah's films.
Fernandez' Erótica sets a sensual mood. The two men have great bods and don't wear shirts, while Erótica is always alluring. The dialogue is sparse, the photography is gorgeously scenic with lots of picture perfect postcard shots of waves bouncing off the rocks, the sun setting, and of the glistening sand on the idyllic beach. The lesson learned is that living in paradise with your lover can also become a drag. But the dialogue as sparse as it was, was still unbearable and the fight scenes seemed unreal. It was only Rebeca Silva's passion that kept the beach sizzling and the screen hot.
REVIEWED ON 5/3/2003 GRADE: C +
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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