Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Perfect Crime (2005)

I have to wonder about director Alex de la Iglesia's personal life after watching this film. Basically, what he's done here is make his version of something like Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives or Russ Meyer's Supervixens. The Perfect Crime (which used to be titled Ferpect Crime, a much better title) is a dark and bitter film about the death of machismo. In telling the story of a salesman brought down by circumstance, hubris and one very possessive woman, de la Iglesia is unafraid to push his way into some very uncomfortable places. The glossy surface (this is Alex's slickest, most Hollywood-looking film yet) hides some twisted issues, and I'm not sure that Alex has them all worked out. (Not for nothing that md'a was inspired to retitl this El Pelicula Misoginistica.) Still, Alex's cinematic confidence and his breezy way with mordant material makes this go down smoother than, say, Supervixens did. It's also not to be discounted that he doesn't really let his protagonist off the hook -- the guy gets hoisted by his own petard because, as a salesperson, it's in his nature to tell people what they want to hear and suppress his own frustrations. Naming the woman that causes Our Hero so much grief Lourdes has to be a nasty joke; also, this may be the first film to reference both Very Bad Things and The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz.

Grade: B-


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