Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas together in new film: ‘Competencia Oficial’

Unbelievable but it has never happened before: Antonio Banderas and PenélopeCruz together as direct opponents in a film. But the Argentine directorsMariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat, makers of successful comedies like ‘El hombrede al lado’ and ‘El ciudadano ilustre’, have succeeded with ‘CompetenciaOficial’. They not only act in the film but have co-written the scriptthemselves. And that makes for a very entertaining and interesting film, inwhich Banderas in particular pulls out all the stops to show why he is a topactor. The editors of the Spain glossy magazine ESPANJE! __has written thefollowing review and has on its own website __a win action! The trailer canbe seen at the bottom of this article.

The great Argentine actor Óscar Martínez is also at his best in this hilarioussatire on the film world, in which the actors actually make fun of themselves.Because in the end they mainly play themselves: Félix Rivero (Banderas) is areal playboy with an American career and a large trophy cabinet. Iván Torres(Martínez) is a radically meticulous theater actor and drama teacher who feelslike the guardian of Art with a capital A. They are brought together by LolaCuevas (Penélope Cruz), a world-famous and highly eccentric film director whohas a bag of money and carte blanche. receives from a wealthy industrialistwho would like to do a good deed at the end of his life by producing a film.

Lola pushes the two men to their limits to make them merge. It starts verysmall with the reading of the script, with both Banderas and Martínez having agreat time. Just pronouncing the words ‘buenos días’ produces a hilariousscene, in which they show what acting is really about.

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Big opposites and egos

Félix is ​​obsessed with women and the glamor of the film world. While Ivánarrives by taxi, Félix arrives in a fast car and a sexy blonde woman by hisside. He does what he has to do and likes to cut corners. He reads what is inthe script and if it is necessary to cry, a drop of vix nasal spray offers theway out. Iván, on the other hand, is a method actor who even needs to know hischaracter’s past or think of sad memories in his life in order to feel andshow his character’s emotion. He’s been married for years to the same womanwho doesn’t even understand the world of glamour. Those huge differencesbetween the two actors, magnified by Lola, quickly provide the comic effect.

According to Antonio Banderas, the film is not just about big egos in themovie world but about big egos in general. “I think there are such egos inevery profession, including journalism and politics. Although, in politics Ithink there are a lot more egos than in our world,” he said in an interviewwith the Spanish news agency EFE. The biggest ego in the film has Lola, whoreally demands the impossible from the men and further exacerbates theirrivalry. “She has an ego and a half,” Cruz told EFE. “I always imagined herdining alone in a fancy restaurant on Christmas Eve, under the guise of, ‘I’mfine, I don’t need anyone,’ but she feels terrible.”

Lovely to watch

Penélope Cruz likes comedies, although she thinks there are few good scripts.”It’s a very complicated genre, but with this script and the ‘eye’ of thesetwo – Banderas and Martínez – who see everything and who have such a peculiar,original and intelligent sense of humor, it was liberating to see this crazywoman to be able to play.’ Years ago the directors wanted to film with AntonioBanderas and Penélope Cruz, but this film only came after four years ofworking on the script, in which the actors also made an active contribution.And that is noticeable. “It would have been a different movie without them,”Duprat says.

At the end, the story seems to flip 180 degrees and degenerate into a terribledrama and the actors and Lola are more sensitive than they think. But in theend it turns out to be a joke by Félix. Is it still possible for the two toget closer? The actors should be able to do that. Because they actually lookvery similar. They are both driven by their ego, vanity and envy. And in theend it is the art of an actor that he can put himself in another person…

Despite it being quite a long film (it lasts almost two hours), it never getslong-winded and it’s almost a shame when it’s over. That’s because you areconstantly surprised by plot twists. But mainly because it is wonderful towatch these three.

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