The Skin I Live in

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“The Skin I Live,” a film by Pedro Almodovar is not only dazzling to watch but also an entertaining mix of sexy futuristic sci-fi and violent family drama, touching on everything from date rape and revenge to plastic surgery and gender changes. This essay critically analyzes the concept of “perfection” as seen by humans and how this narrow view affects the actions and lives of the protagonists in the film. This essay also analyzes the role of sex in the achievement of said actions. As a reference tool, I shall draw parallels between Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and The Skin I live in. The entire film is based on the effects and consequences of the human sex drive. The protagonist Dr. Robert Ledgard possesses only one motive, to punish the rapist of his emotionally unstable daughter. In chase of this revenge, Robert crosses many boundaries: those of gender, law, and humanity. What this film provides is a glossy, smooth, luxurious version of the sorts of unspeakable things that occupied classified classic horror films involving mad scientists, body parts, twisted revenge, personal captives and hidden revenge, something that harks back to our analysis of Frankenstein etc. The thesis of this essay is the critical analysis of sex and sexuality in speculative fiction stories, in particular, The Skin I live in. Director Pedro Almodovar has extensively used the concept of rape and sexual abuse in his film. Few directors have used colors, especially red, as joyfully as Almodovar. He does not refrain from the display of gore and sexual violence in the film. What makes the excessive sexual exposure in this film even more taboo is the fact that Robert has conducted illegal genetic experiments and sex change operations on Vincent to convert him to Vera. One can question the role love, lust and sexuality plays in science fiction in general. In speculative fiction, extrapolation allows writers to focus not on the way things are (or were), as non-genre literature does, but on...
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