PRETTY WOMAN UNPLUGGED
CANDELA PENA SHINES IN
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.
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.