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Kika

Pedro Almodovar has pulled off another unqualified winner that should delight his aficionados all over the world with its dazzling, stylized sets and costumes , fast pacing, irreverent sendups and zany antics. Pic is imbued with the Almodovar "look," and the story lurches from improbable histrionics to mock melodrama.

Pedro Almodovar has pulled off another unqualified winner that should delight his aficionados all over the world with its dazzling, stylized sets and costumes , fast pacing, irreverent sendups and zany antics. Pic is imbued with the Almodovar “look,” and the story lurches from improbable histrionics to mock melodrama.

What is unclear is how much of the scintillating, fast dialogue — steeped in the very marrow of Madrid slang — will be fully appreciated in subtitles. And some of the scenes, especially a long tongue-in-cheek rape sequence, may run into censorship/classification problems if not cut.

Much of the charm of “Kika” comes from a hilarious performance by Veronica Forque in the title role. A dizzy dame hairdresser, Kika gets involved with a homicidal but attractive expatriate Yank writer (Peter Coyote) and his bewildered stepson (Alex Casanovas); a vampish, oddball femme TV reporter (Victoria Abril) who’s constantly on the lookout for “reality” scoops and who wears a strange uniform with a revolving video camera mounted on her head; and a bedraggled maid (Rossy de Palma) and her criminal brother, out of prison for the day so he can attend a religious procession. A host of other loony Almodovarian characters interact verbally and physically with dizzying speed.

There are moments in the middle of the film when the laughs taper off and the going is a bit slow, and the aforementioned rape sequence, when the escaped convict assaults Kika in her bed, comes close to crossing the line from funny to tasteless, yet pic is laden with plenty of irreverent humor, using snappy down-to-earth dialogue that reflects the reality of modern Spain.

Beautifully crisp lensing by Alfredo Mayo, adept editing and Almodovar’s unusual verve and eye for the amusingly outrageous are bound to make “Kika” a surefire hit around the world.

Kika

Spanish

  • Production: An El Deseo S.A. and Ciby 2000 production. Executive producer, Agustin Almodovar. Directed, written by Pedro Almodovar.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Alfredo Mayo; editor, Pepe Salcedo; sets, Alain Bainee, Javier Fernandez; costumes, Jose Maria Cossia; makeup, Gregorio Ros; hairstyles, Jesus Moncusi; sound (Dolby), Jean Paul Mugel. Reviewed at Cine Palacio de la Musica (Madrid), Oct. 26, 1993. Running time: 115 MIN.
  • With: Kika - Veronica Forque<br> Nicholas - Peter Coyote<br> Andrea - Victoria Abril<br> Ramon - Alex Casanovas<br> Juana - Rossy de Palma<br> <B>Also with:</B> Anabel Alonso, Bibi Andersson, Jesus Bonilla, Karra Elejalde, Charo Lopez, Santiago Lajusticia, Manuel Bandera.