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Cat Kisses

"Cat Kisses" is a nicely shot but heavy-handed moral fable that feels like the product of hours spent over the thriller rulebook. Featuring a a skilled perf by Juanjo Puigcorbe, pic's trite message and made-for-TV air of implausibility fatally weaken its foundations. "Cat" should purr along at home but is unlikely to provoke many meows offshore.

With:
With: Juanjo Puigcorbe, Leticia Dolera, Ruth Gabriel, Lola Marceli, David Carrillo, Jose Sancho, Imanol Arias, Antonio Dechent, Antonio Resines.

Set during one night in a Madrid portrayed as an urban hellhole, “Cat Kisses” is a nicely shot but heavy-handed moral fable that feels like the product of hours spent over the thriller rulebook. Featuring a a skilled central perf by Juanjo Puigcorbe, pic’s trite message and made-for-TV air of implausibility fatally weaken its foundations. “Cat” should purr along at home but is unlikely to provoke many meows offshore.

Carlota (Leticia Dolera) distresses her bickering lawyer parents, Fran (Juanjo Puigcorbe) and Elvira (Lola Marceli), when she does not return home one night. Her lazy brother, Toto (David Carrillo), says she’s with her punk boyfriend, so Fran takes off to look for her. A boxer at college, Fran beats up practically everybody he meets, and, in a low-life journey with Carlota to find her missing b.f., he confronts dodgy figures from his past (Ruth Gabriel, Jose Sancho), plus nasty truths about himself. The more pic aims for gritty realism, however, the less plausible it becomes, with dialogue rarely more than hard-boiled cliches. Several local stars cameo in minor roles.

Cat Kisses

Spain

Production: A Buena Vista Intl. Spain release of a Blue Legend/Buena Vista Intl. Spain production, in association with TVE, Via Digital. (International sales: BVI Spain, Madrid.) Executive producers, Federico Bermudez de Castro, Alvaro Zapata. Directed by Rafael Alcazar. Screenplay, Alcazar, Felipe Hernandez Cava, Beda Docampo Feijoo, based on a novel by Alejandro Gandara.

Crew: Camera (color), Jaume Peracaula; editors, Guellermo Represa, Javier Laffaile; music, Victor Reyes; art director, Ion Artetxe; sound (Dolby Digital), Carlos Faruolo, Miguel Polo. Reviewed at Malaga Film Festival (competing), May 1, 2003. Running time: 82 MIN.

With: With: Juanjo Puigcorbe, Leticia Dolera, Ruth Gabriel, Lola Marceli, David Carrillo, Jose Sancho, Imanol Arias, Antonio Dechent, Antonio Resines.

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