Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Flora Martínez & co in "Canciones de Amor en Lolita's Club" [2007 Spain]

When it comes to a Vicente Aranda film, one knows what to expect - his characters will not be able to contain their passion - they'd indulge themselves despite the consequences. His drama "Canciones de Amor en Lolita's Club" [Eng. Trans: Love Songs in Lolita's Club] starts off in a similar fashion but strays off aimlessly, partly due to the screenplay. Perhaps he was experimenting with some new themes, but were abandoned half way - I haven't read the novel, but from what I see, it carries several half-developed sub-plots, and that time could have been better used to work on the main plot and characters.

Technically, it is as good as can be expected from Sr. Aranda, even if there was nothing too challenging here. The soundtrack is decent, as is the cinematography. But overall, an average film for a fine writer-director. I'd reviewed this film earlier, but this is a reappraisal, with fresh compilations from my DVD.

Raul is a short-tempered albeit sincere cop who gets suspended for assaulting an important person's son. He decides to spend the enforced vacation at his dad's ranch, who's now married to Olga, his former girlfriend. He also reluctantly strikes a deal with an informer concerning a human trafficking cartel. At the ranch, he learns that his mentally challenged younger brother Valentín is working as an errand-boy at an upmarket brothel, and that he's also in love with to one of the prostitutes there. A furious Raul goes looking for Valentín to rescue him, but finds him happy as ever with his 'girlfriend' Milena, a Colombian prostitute owned by the brothel. He tries to break the pair apart, with little success. He then decides to have sex with her, hoping that would put him off. Tragedy strikes unexpectedly, and Raul ends up taking up his brother's place.

Compilation 1: Flora Martínez
Prostitute Milena is played by the pretty Colombian actress Flora Martínez - shame though she seems to have needlessly gone under the surgeon's scalpel.

Flora Martínez in Canciones de Amor en Lolita's Club

Scene Guide:
  • A high-on-cocaine Milena is tended to by lover and errand-boy Valentin.
  • Raul had come to the brothel to end Valentín's relationship with Milena, but decides to 'check her out' for curiosity sake. Even after knowing who he is, she agrees. 'Inspecting' her vagina, he remarks, "never thought whores could get horny too".  She retorts, "with a stud like you, who wouldn't". A disgusted Raul throws money and leaves.
  • When Valentín refuses to stop loving Milena, Raul barges into Milena's room when she's with a customer and warns her to stay away from his brother.

Compilation 2: Flora Martínez
The remaining scenes of Flora Martínez who plays Milena.

Flora Martínez in Canciones de Amor en Lolita's Club

Scene Guide:
  • Valentín seeks his turn with Milena after the last of her customers leave. It certainly doesn't appear as if she's ready for him yet - hygienically at least. She's however glad he reminded her she's not always a prostitute.
  • Raul comes visiting again - this time he really wants to do it with Milena and ensure Valentín also knows - so that he could put him off. He see her dancing with a customer, and Nancy, who wants to try and keep Raul away from her, offers a trick, but he's not interested. Nancy is played by the gorgeous Cubana Yunet Guerra - pity she doesn't take her kit off in this film.
  • A brief scene of cute Miriam Giovanelli - she barely has a line to speak in the film, but does offer a nipple-slip.
  • Raul pulls Milena away from her customer, and after making a scene, offers his custom instead. He ravishes her after leaving the door unlocked - she pleads him not to break Valentín's heart, but he'd have none of it - pretty soon it is apparent she too is enjoying it. An unsuspecting Valentín enters, and leaves in shock.
  • Valentín is killed due to mistaken identity - Raul feels guilty and uses his connections with the human trafficking cartel to 'release' Milena from her bondage. She's however not interested as she's earning enough to send decent money for her child back in Colombia. He then offers to take Valentín's place. She replies, "in which case, I want you to get my next fix".
  • Raul has now become Milena's new Valentín.

Compilation 3: Daniela Cobo, Yunet Guerra, Carla Sánchez, Belén Fabra, and others
These are the other nude scenes not involving Flora Martínez.

Daniela Cobo, Carla Sánches and Belén Fabra in Canciones de Amor en Lolita's Club

Scene Guide:
  • The film starts with Raul insisting on paying for the night with a prostitute - played by Daniela Cobo.
  • Valentín bringing in drinks for a customer who's having a threesome.
  • A watchful eye is kept on all the goings on in the establishment.
  • Girls enjoying their bachata, as Raul look around. One of the girls points out that he resembles Valentín.
  • María, Raul's police-colleague comes visiting to warn him of a plot against him. The carefree Raul shags her nevertheless. María is played by Carla Sánchez.
  • A couple of brief scenes of Olga played by classy Belén Fabra - Olga was once Raul's girlfriend, but is now married to his dad - we're not told what happened - or whether this is the reason behind Raul's alcoholism. Valentín catches them in the act and feels it is not quite right.


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