What is more, the movie is often surprisingly beautiful. A number of scenes are infused with a magical playfulness, and others are simply striking. Providing the viewer with visions of white beaches shining brilliantly under a glaring sun, of quaint, cluttered offices and flats, and of the alluring nude bodies of his performers, the director has fashioned a truly gorgeous work of art.
Having so charmed the moviegoer with these entrancing images, Medem completely bewitches him with the numerous nearly otherworldly touches with which he has enlivened Sex and Lucía. At various points, the director brings out the mystery and liminality of his imaginary world with holes in the earth that allow his characters to return to their own pasts, with moons that descend from the heavens into the habitations of human beings, and even with a playful mermaid. The effect he achieves with all these devices is wondrously delightful and helps to prevent the viewer from forgetting that the events he is watching are occurrences in a movie rather than in the world of ordinary life.
Not content with having conjured up this lovely vision of a fairy tale universe, however, Medem has also crafted a fascinating narrative and suffused it with just as much of a sense of magic. He interweaves the lives of his own characters with those of the characters who appear in a story being written by Lorenzo, so that the moviegoer is allowed to inhabit a fluid, dreamlike, joyously poetic world. He sees how Lorenzo's art affects his life and how the character's life is transformed into his art. While being made aware of such influences, the viewer, is, at the same time, allowed to lose himself in the film's shifting, permeable boundaries so that he soon forgets what Lorenzo is experiencing externally and what exists only in his mind.
Many of these occurrences revolve around the characters' sexuality, which is brought to the screen with a particular vibrancy. Not only is the moviegoer presented with the ways in which Lorenzo and Lucía give physical expression to their love, so that he is touched by their passionate, playful sex, but he is also provided with opportunities to look into Lorenzo's fantasies so that the character's internal sexuality has as much reality as does that he enjoys with his body. The director also unveils to the viewer how Lucía, in her relationship with Lorenzo, gives in to a sexuality that is absolutely charged with an overpowering love. Even the feelings and minds of Medem's supporting characters are frequently nicely conveyed to the moviegoer. Belén's desperate attempts to grasp at some connection with other human beings, for example, are well realized and tragically moving.
Such details, and many others, all help to make the persons dwelling in Medem's fantastic, sensual world consistently captivating. The director has created a number of deeply flawed and, consequently, poignantly affecting characters who are able to involve the viewer in their lives and touch him with their various troubles. Lorenzo emerges as a kind, decent man, but one who is, at the same time, capable of selfishness and of hurting others. Belén appears as a deeply wounded individual, whose sexuality is infused with a terrible sense of desperation and is informed by her often severe emotional scars. Elena is exposed as a good and loving individual who has been devastated by an overwhelming tragedy, and Lucía, around whom all the film's events revolve, is presented as filled with such passion that it can both imbue her with an uncontainable joy and nearly ruin her with an unspeakable sorrow. She truly is an enthralling person who is a delight to watch.
While Sex and Lucía may not be a masterpiece, it is a fascinating, lovely, and, ultimately, rapturous film.
Review by Keith Allen
© 2005 firstname.lastname@example.org Keith Allen. All rights reserved.