Top critical review
on 3 July 2012
Having admired and enjoyed a lot of Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia's previous movies (especially Ferpect Crime, 800 bullets and La Comunidad), I found this last film of him to be very disappointing. The movie starts with a brief prologue during the Spanish civil war, but then moves on to 1973: it's basically about a newcomer clown to a pathetic circus who arouses the jealousy of the dangerously crazy head clown who thinks he might be after his not too bright woman. The fights between them will increasingly become more violent and grotesque. Since I don't recall their names right now, I call the three main characters in the movie, Sad Clown, Psycho Clown and Dumb Girl. Psycho Clown constantly beats Dumb Girl, but this is played for laughs in the movie which makes me wonder why the director thinks that domestic violence is funny. All three protagonists are extremely unlikable, almost repulsive, so we could not care less of what happens to them. Several aspects of Spanish 20th century history serve as backdrop to the action here but they don't add anything to the film, they seem gratuitous additions. (As an aside, chronologically, the movie doesn't add up: Sad Clown was a child around of around 10 in the 1930s, so he must be in his late forties in the second part of the movie, yet he looks like he is still in his twenties). Worst, Alex is copying himself: The idea of two rival comedians fighting each other like mad against a backdrop of recent Spanish history was already in Muertos de Miedo, which was not his best film but is much better than this (and with better actors, another problem of this movie is the poor acting, with the exception of the guy playing Psycho Clown). As in that movie, there are references to Spanish customs and popular culture of the 1970s (movies, TV shows, etc) that are probably moving to the director (who was a child during that time) but that left me and I suppose many other viewers cold. And as in Ferpect Crime, the movie ends in a homage to Hitchcock (which by now is a cliché among cinephile directors). So, in summary, I can't really recommend this, despite the expectations I had seeing this.