It's easy to see the attraction of a film about Frida Kahlo .The Mexican painter was spirited, rebellious, proudly true to her idiosyncratic talents, and, despite being cripples in a bus accident, she led an unusually eventful life. Just the ingredients for a romantic, inspirational cinema. Or for a thin string of colorful cliches.
That's far too harsh an assessment of Hayek's well meaning hymn to the determination and artistic originality of a national heroine, but it does point to the weaknesses of the film. Not withstanding the eagerness to display her bust at regular intervals, the actress/producer makes for an efficient lead, and the same is true of Molina's Diego Rivera.
Kahlo's relationship with the womanising muralist is the movie's backbone, as opposed to the link between experience and art, which is stated, not dramatised. The script rushes events, races past characters, deploys welcome animation and special effects for dreams, trips abroad and paintings come to life. It also fields the irritatingly cute cameos.
Those unfamiliar with Kahlo's life and work will find it lively and informative, but the depth of the character and insights into the creative process aren't part of the hagiographic equation.
The film will be screened by the HFC on the 13th of March at Sarathi STudios. It is directed byJulie Taymor and has Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Valeria Golino and Mia Maeslu acting in it. Please contact Prakash Reddy of Hyderabad Film Club at 2373-0841, 93910-20243 for further details.