Salma Hayek fought for years to get the life story of Mexican artist
Frida Kahlo made into a film. Madonna and Jennifer Lopez also attempted
to get versions of her life to the big screen. (For the life of me, I
can't see why Madonna would think herself right for this role.) In any
case, Hayek won and her effort was worth it.
Starring: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, and
The film follows Frida's life from her teenage years to her death at
age 47. From the trolley accident that caused her to deal with physical
pain over the course of her life to the relationship with fellow artist
Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) that caused her emotional upheaval for almost
The film, which was directed by Julie Taymor (Titus), is a wonderful
mesh of artwork and film trickery. The artist's pieces are brought to
life using a combination of digital effects and unique lighting. Clever
animated vignettes are used to illustrate main plot points and breathe
life into what could have been a straight re-telling of Frida's life story.
That's not to say that the performances take a backseat to the visuals.
Quite the contrary.
Hayek is phenomenal as Frida. She brings an appropriate blend of raw
sexuality, free spirited enthusiasm and titanic inner strength. Alfred
Molina's Diego Rivera is a big, burly man with a genuine -- and sometimes
heartbreaking -- love for Frida and her work. Hayek and Molina provide
the centerpiece that the rest of the film revolves around. Appearances
by Ashley Judd, Diego Luna (Y tu Mama Tambien), Antonio Banderas, Saffron
Burrows and Edward Norton simply build on the foundation laid by Hayek
While Frida might
not be an exact retelling of the life of its subject -- and what biographical
movie really ever is -- the film does have an
undeniably effective and engaging way of telling her story. If moviegoing
can be likened to a journey, Frida is definitely worth the trip.
Hayek will be seen in 2003 in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, a sequel
to 1995's Desperado. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)