issues involving his sexuality. When he was supposed to get rid of his junkie girlfriend, he couldn't even pull the trigger. When his friend needed help, he staked his life. Though he realized what they were getting into, he helped Ricky build his dubious empire. Despite the constant sleaze surrounding his persona, you find yourself rooting for dorky Angelito; that's no easy feat, considering what he does for a living. I also liked the character of Antonio dela Torre, a submissive half-wit bodyguard named Santos and how he got so attached to their pregnant "captive" Mobila. He's supposed to be easily swayed and impressionable. Rightfully, you could see the "emptiness" in his eyes.
Every character in "Neon Flesh" is as colorful as the next, and the story is coherently buoyed by Mario Casas who plays our protagonist Ricky. Casas is a persuasive presence. He captures Ricky intuitively. He is also consistent in depicting a conflicted hustler, and it helps that he's easy on the eyes. He imparts empathy from the opening sequence of the film right down to the high adrenaline conclusion when bullets fly through the walls of his Club Hiroshima. The scenarios in "Neon Flesh" isn't pretty. They filmed this Spanish flick in the seedy district of Distrito Federal in Buenos Aires (Argentina) yet the sparkling cinematography and unorthodox characters give off a vibrant atmosphere which refutes the pervading subjects of apathy, alienation and squandered morality.
The film reminds you of Almodovar and his crazy characters. While some scenes made me laugh so hard, specific moments also made me weep, i.e. Ricky coming home beaten and blue so he retires beside his sleeping mother like a child seeking solace. Watching "Neon Flesh" takes you in several levels of elucidation. One of the most palpable is how we perceive what is "normal" and what isn't. We aren't so different from the inscrutable populace that habitate Ricky's world. Everyone needs a slice of affirmation from someone we care. And it isn't such a bad thing trying to attain it. Who knows, we might succeed.
|Ricky, the hustler, and Angelito, the pimp.|
|Macarena Gomez plays Angelito's junkie girlfriend|
|A police chief's daughter gets abducted in the name of vengeance.|
|Mario Casas smolders. He reminds me of Kyle Chandler ("Early Edition" TV series) and Ryan Reynold's boyish charms.|
|Mario Casas is a relative newbie. He started in 2010. The year after, he won an award in Spain for being the "most searched personality in the Spanish internet."|
|Mario Casas personifies the word "sexy".|