Joaquín Oristrell’s Unconscious might have been called Sleuthing in the Time of Psychoanalysis. Hardly a fun title but neither is this Spanish confection, whose rabid-animal disposition is bound to please suckers for those calculatedly bouncy and cloying foreign imports that have become all the rage since Amélie. Like Love Me If You Dare, the film is so opulently and noisily aestheticized it gives the illusion of being smarter than it is, though it benefits from some endearing performances. Set in 1913 Barcelona against a horny backdrop of Freudian chitter-chatter, the story is something of Three’s Company fan’s fantasy of a Sherlock Holmes mystery, with Pedro Almodóvar alum Leonor Watling as a very-pregnant and unusually liberated woman who goes hunting for her missing husband with the help of her brother-in-law, played by Luis Tosar. No taboo, from incest to homosexuality, is beneath Oristrell’s radar as Watling and Tosar’s cartoon trail of breadcrumbs leads them to a head-spinning meeting with Freud at a luxe manse. The film’s humor is such that Tosar, in one scene, recoils in horror when he learns he’s holding a small statue of a goddess of fertility and, in another, pulls out his ostensibly crooked cock during dinner and a waiter reflects that disproportion is the base of beauty. Alas, the film’s desperation is not.
- Regent Releasing
- 108 min
- Joaquín Oristrell
- Dominic Harari, Joaquín Oristrell, Teresa Pelegri
- Leonor Watling, Luis Tosar, Alex Brendemühl, Mercedes Sampietro, Núria Prims, Ana Rayo, Juanjo Puigcorbé
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