Disappointing biopic of legendary Mexican painter
OPENS FEBRUARY 28, CERT 15, 118 MINS
A project that has, in the past, been linked with both Madonna and Jennifer Lopez finally makes it to the screen thanks to star and producer Salma Hayek. Her commitment should be applauded even if the film itself fails to live up to expectations?the story of iconic painter Frida Kahlo has been too neatly arranged within a conventional ‘movie-biopic’ frame to do justice to her painful, tumultuous life and vivid art. Superficially at least, there’s enough incident to keep it compelling; after a deathbed prologue, director Julie Taymor whisks us through the main events in Kahlo’s life?her near-fatal accident aboard a tram, a marriage to womanising muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), her friendship with Trotsky (Geoffrey Rush) and her development as a painter. Hayek gives it her all but doesn’t go very deep, while Taymor loads the picture with CGI effects, a Brothers Quay-created interlude and star cameos. Sadly, such decorations are no substitute for a genuinely creative imagining of what it must have felt like to be?or even be with?Frida Kahlo.