Type: Review
Pages: 5 | Words: 1300
Reading Time: 6 Minutes

The film “Frida” appeared on the screen in 2002 and since that time has conquered millions of hearts in the world. Primarily thanks to the movie, the name of the Mexican talented painter Frida Kahlo has been revived and sounded with a new force. The scenario of the film “Frida” was based on the book of Hayden Herrera and directed by the British director Julie Taymor, starring Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Antonio Banderas, Ashley Judd, Roberto Medina, Roger Rees, Geoffrey Rush, Patricia Reyes Spindola and others.

The long-gestating biographical story named “Frida” is dedicated to one of the most remarkable Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Salma Hayek always wanted to portray the life of a brilliant, astonishing, creative figure, and at the same time extraordinary woman such as Frida Kahlo. At last it has come true once the movie reached the screens. Salma was casted to play the role of Frida. Salma bears striking resemblance to Frida Kahlo. Their undeniable visual similarity was beneficial to the film, helping the audience to believe the actress and accept her as a real character.

The film is done as a turnover of the vivid pictures where all the characters, picturesque paintings, accompanying heart-rending Mexican music and folk songs become an integral party of the entire film. The spectators of the film can get acquainted with Frida Kahlo’s personality, and observe the most significant episodes of her life time.

The top-priority goals of the movie were to cause a genuine interest to Frida Kahlo’s biography and her creative works, to comprehend Frida’s inner world, and the nature of her colorific paintings. Simultaneously it is a search for explanations or justifications of her misbehavior. The audience is learnt to contemplate everything that surrounded Frida with her eyes, through her vision.

The events in the film took place in the 20th century between 1920s and 30s. There was an extraordinary young and cheerful, passionate and naughty Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek).She was full of energy, desires and dreams. However, everything overturned and changed unexpectedly. The bus accident altered her physically and morally, after the catastrophe she became different. Her life was full of severe physical pain and perpetual sufferings seemed never to finish, but even these cruel trials could not break Frida’s spirit. In spite of being bedridden, Frida did not to give up and lose her heart. While she was fully covered in a plaster corset and she was drawing stunningly beautiful butterflies on it. Flying butterflies symbolize her strong urge to regain freedom and lightness. Frida demonstrated huge will, her great desire to return to a normal life and came true.

During those isolated times, drawing remained to be the only entertainment she had. She shared her solitude and pain with the canvas and paints. She tried her brush drawing everything and everybody what was within her approach and imagination. After recovery, she decided to show her works to Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) who had gained a reputation in the art world by that time. That meeting defined their common destiny. Shortly they realized their need in each other. Their tempestuous marriage was strange, complicated, unfaithful and painful. Nevertheless, their turbulent existence was not possible without mutual support. They drew inspiration and energy from each other for their works and in spite of multiple cheating spiritually remained faithful.

However, Frida Kahlo was a very complicated, conflicting, and multi-sided nature, adoring and consuming life joys. Salma Hayek successfully demonstrated Frida’s character in its naturalness, reality and passion. The main reason why Salma succeeded was that she preferred to depict Frida Kahlo not as an icon or a great martyr, but as ordinary human-being. Without any hesitations or doubts the author had revealed Frida in her merits and demerits, showing her in true colors to the audience. On the screen, we see the main character exactly what she was, who has never put on a mask of pretense. She could realize the value of life, and always felt thirst for it during her living. The people loved, adored, worshiped and respected Frida for her honesty and strength, passion and openness, stamina and zest for life. She has never betrayed her principles to please society morals. The film creators created a realistic story about the extraordinary woman, vivid personality and gifted artist.

Diego Rivera is a significant part of Frida Kahlo’s life. Alfred Molina created an incredible and unforgettable image of Diego Rivera. He was a legendary, prominent and talented muralist of Mexico, but also was known to be a hopeless philander, and temperamental womanizer. Alfred Molina managed to implement a colorful, authentic and multi-sided image of his character.

For the reason to portray a true image of Frida Kahlo, Julie Taymor, a film director saturates the movie scenes with lots of Frida’s and Diego’s paintings. Film scenes are tightly interlinked with the shown paintings. It is impossible to make a movie about outstanding painters without presenting their works. Rivera’s realistic murals and Frida’s unrealistic ones accompany the film from the beginning till the very end. As regards Frida Kahlo’s works, they show sincerity, extravagance, loneliness, pain, emotional and physical suffer. They still look more subtle and vulnerable in comparison with Diego’s murals. Somebody described her paintings as tender and peppery, hard as steel and light as a butterfly, kind as a smile, and cruel as bitterness of life. Tears of pain, betrayal, misfortune, and love pour out on her canvases. The scenes filmed on the ground of Frida’s biography assist in understanding and digesting Kahlo’s painting works, and in realizing her antagonistic personality.

When one starts watching a film, the bright, juicy and deep colors decorations catch the eyes. The decorations are astonishingly impressive and rich. They look rather bright but to the certain extent without any hint to shadow or diminish vividness of the main characters. On the contrary, the colors present in Frida’s life, found their reflection and continuation in her works. Knowing Frida’s torturing existence, it is amazing to observe that primarily light, vivid and rich paints dominate in her works.

The entire decors of the film such as costumes, decorations, interiors serve to be the most realistic images of the screened epoch in Mexico in the first part of the 20th century. Bright colors, ancient furniture, Mexican national costumes, housewares and other various things were carefully and scrupulously chosen.

Emotional level of the film is emphasized with the help of various Mexican folk songs and a balanced mixture of traditional Mexican and Spanish music. The song that sounds at the end of the film Burn it blue” finishes a magnificent story of Frida’s life travel. Various Mexican national folk songs are played throughout the film either on the wedding, or in the bar. Whenever there was the music it made the accent on the character’s emotional state. It had an additional influential effect on the audience, helped to understand what feelings boiled inside the characters’ souls.

Julie Taymor adopted some theatrical elements inside the film. It is enough to remember the awful paper-made figures which Frida imagined being at the hospital. Those theater-related dolls exaggerated the feelings of Frida. . The spectators did not see Frida’s tears but thanks to the paper-made images they could understand how she felt at that moment.

The discussed film is constructed mainly on the dialogues as far as primarily dialogue speech can divulge real relationship between the people, and their attitude to each other. It reflects either a storm of emotions or peaceful co-existence when even silence is expressive.

Therefore, judging from the detailed review of “Frida“, we can come to the conclusion that this movie is worth watching. The good team of the first-class professionals created a film of heaven beauty and of certain tension. The unreal Frida’s world strangely transforms her into the new life. The cast, decorations and costumes help to establish a true emotional contact with the audience.

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