Unbelievable but it has never happened before: Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz together as direct opponents in a film. But the Argentine directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat, makers of successful comedies like ‘El hombre de al lado’ and ‘El ciudadano ilustre’, have succeeded with ‘Competencia Oficial’. They not only act in the film but have co-written the script themselves. And that makes for a very entertaining and interesting film, in which Banderas in particular pulls out all the stops to show why he is a top actor. The editors of the Spain glossy magazine ESPANJE! has written the following review and has on its own website a win action! The trailer can be seen at the bottom of this article.
The great Argentine actor Óscar Martínez is also at his best in this hilarious satire 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 a real playboy with an American career and a large trophy cabinet. Iván Torres (Martínez) is a radically meticulous theater actor and drama teacher who feels like the guardian of Art with a capital A. They are brought together by Lola Cuevas (Penélope Cruz), a world-famous and highly eccentric film director who has a bag of money and carte blanche. receives from a wealthy industrialist who 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 very small with the reading of the script, with both Banderas and Martínez having a great time. Just pronouncing the words ‘buenos días’ produces a hilarious scene, 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 Iván arrives by taxi, Félix arrives in a fast car and a sexy blonde woman by his side. He does what he has to do and likes to cut corners. He reads what is in the script and if it is necessary to cry, a drop of vix nasal spray offers the way out. Iván, on the other hand, is a method actor who even needs to know his character’s past or think of sad memories in his life in order to feel and show his character’s emotion. He’s been married for years to the same woman who doesn’t even understand the world of glamour. Those huge differences between the two actors, magnified by Lola, quickly provide the comic effect.
According to Antonio Banderas, the film is not just about big egos in the movie world but about big egos in general. “I think there are such egos in every profession, including journalism and politics. Although, in politics I think there are a lot more egos than in our world,” he said in an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE. The biggest ego in the film has Lola, who really demands the impossible from the men and further exacerbates their rivalry. “She has an ego and a half,” Cruz told EFE. “I always imagined her dining alone in a fancy restaurant on Christmas Eve, under the guise of, ‘I’m fine, 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 these two – Banderas and Martínez – who see everything and who have such a peculiar, original and intelligent sense of humor, it was liberating to see this crazy woman to be able to play.’ Years ago the directors wanted to film with Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz, but this film only came after four years of working 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 terrible drama and the actors and Lola are more sensitive than they think. But in the end it turns out to be a joke by Félix. Is it still possible for the two to get closer? The actors should be able to do that. Because they actually look very similar. They are both driven by their ego, vanity and envy. And in the end 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 gets long-winded and it’s almost a shame when it’s over. That’s because you are constantly surprised by plot twists. But mainly because it is wonderful to watch these three.
SPAIN! Travel and culture magazine is the Dutch-language glossy about Spain and the Spanish-speaking world that appears four times a year in the Netherlands and Belgium. SPAIN! is a high-quality journalism magazine with inspiring travel reports, beautiful interviews, fascinating columns, delicious recipes and hundreds of tips for lovers of Spain. Read more information on the website espanje.nl