The Skin I Live In (2011)

For those film fans who have seen or at least heard of the classic 1960's French film Eyes Without a Face will immediately come to mind when reading the synopsis for the recent movie the Skin I Live In. Yet other then the theme of plastic surgery the two couldn't be farther apart and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

The Skin I Live In starts off with Dr. Roberto Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) a gifted plastic surgeon that has performed many successful face transplants who is giving a presentation on his experimental “perfect skin”, artificial skin that can’t be easily burnt or punctured. From there we meet Vera (Elena Anaya) a young woman who has no contact with the outside world other than Ledgard who is in the process of attempting suicide by slitting her wrist. Ledgard calmly patches her up and from there we go on a wild and bizarre ride that takes us into the past lives of the two central characters.

First off the Skin I Live In is not a horror movie, it might deal with a scary and genuinely creepy subject matter but none of that is revealed until the ending. At most this can be described as a hard lined thriller. Banderas has his best performance in this movie since probably Desperado with Anaya doing equally as good of a job as the frightened young woman.

Reading a book in her own skin.
Reading a book in her own skin.

There are a number of problems with the film thought, the biggest being the pacing and nonlinear storyline. The film begins in the present day before going into a flashback which then leads to another flashback and then finally coming to a halt with the ending. The problem with the storyline is that every time a flashback happens it comes rapidly which takes you out of the film. the other problem that it causes is that the movie tends to drag a lot making the experience that much more tiresome. On top of that the ending leaves you scratching your head and a bit bewildered because of the twist ending which is shocking and disturbing.

Overall the Skin I Live In isn’t a bad movie it’s just not all that great. The film does have a twist that will more then likely have you talking for a couple of days but other than that the film is forgettable, if you have nothing else to watch I recommend you watch this movie, 3 out of 5.


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