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PRETTY WOMAN UNPLUGGED
CANDELA PENA SHINES IN PRINCESAS

 

 

The subject matter in the film Princesas, involving hard luck prostitutes, is mildly depressing and even hopeless at times, the performances from the lead actresses Candela Pena and Micaela Nevarez are incredible, and make the movie incredibly charming and watchable. This isn't the unrealistic appy and charming hooker showcase you saw in Pretty Woman, but it's not the "so depressing you want to slice your throat" tale of doom in Leaving Las Vegas, either. Princesas shows the sisterhood of women in Spain who've willingly joined the sex for hire business, and the struggles they face as a result.

 

But it's no documentary. Princesas is a movie about friendship. If you're looking for some sexy skin fest, this really isn't the movie for you. Sure, there's frank nudity and sex scenes that would earn a hard R rating, if the movie were actually rated, but there's a visceral quality to some of the scenes that make it anything but exciting to watch. But that's not a point to the film. When the characters engage in sexual acts, it's not shown as erotic, but just a way to get cash for the characters involved.

 

Candela Pena is incredible as the lead character Caye, who appears to be a pimp free hooker who keeps her job a secret from her mother and siblings, whom she shares weekly dinners with. When her cell phone rings while she sits at the table, she doesn't dare answer it in front of them. After becoming friends with Zule (Micaela Nevarez), a Caribbean hooker who's among the many "immigrant hos" who are taking jobs from the Spanish locals, they become great friends and share their hopes and dreams with each other.

 

Pena gives a great talk about nostalgia, and though she hasn't experienced anything worth remembering fondly yet, she still feels wistful about the future and the great thing that may be in store. She eventually gets into a relationship with a man who doesn't believe that she's a prostitute when she tells him, and as you'd expect, goes through a great deal of difficulty holding on to a "normal" romance when her job interferes.

 

 

 

There's a really special beauty about Pena that I can't explain. She comes in at about 5'2, and has a really unusual harsh beauty about her that is hard to forget. This is the first time I've seen her in a movie, but I'd definitely like to see her in some more stuff. She's also been in Pedro Almodovar's All About My Mother, so I suppose that's likely the next best place to start.

 


Micaela Nevarez gives a deeply stunning performance as well. She has a friendly Amazonian quality about her that makes her both imposing and charming at the same time.

 

Princesas is a great movie to rent. It's no date movie by any stretch of the imagination, but if you'd like to see a good quality film about subject matter that's rarely taken seriously in Hollywood, I recommend it highly.

 

-Robert Berry

rberry@retrocrush.com

 

 

 

 

 



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