From the Chicago Reader (June 1, 1992). — J.R.

High Spanish melodrama (1991), without the camp of a Pedro Almodovar, much less the humor of a Luis Buñuel. It’s pretty well executed for what it is, but without the sort of characters that can outlive their generic functions. During the mid-50s a young man from the provinces who’s finishing up his military service (Jorge Sanz) becomes engaged to his commandant’s virginal maid (Maribel Verdu) but then gets enmeshed in a steamy affair with his landlady (Victoria Abril), a glamorous widow with criminal connections and treacherous designs. Roughly speaking, this starts out like a Last Tango in Madrid before gravitating slowly toward James Cain country; Vicente Aranda directed and collaborated on the script. 103 min.

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