'The Last Circus'
(Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, et al / DVD / R / 2011 / Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Overview:Javier, a Sad Clown, finds work in a circus where he befriends an outlandish cast of characters, including the brutish Happy Clown, Sergio, who humiliates Javier daily in the name of entertainment. It is here that he meets Natalia, a gorgeous acrobat and abused wife of Sergio. Javier falls deeply in love with Natalia and tries to rescue her from her cruel and violent husband, unleashing Sergio's jealousy.
DVD Verdict: Crazy indeed is cult director Alex de la Iglesia's 2010 Venice Film Festival winner about two clowns - one sad and one happy - who enter into a bizarre and memorable love triangle. Set during the brutal Spanish Civil War as well as the end of Franco's regime, the demented parable is like an amalgam of Fellini, Del Toro, Hitchcock with a pinch of Burton and more than a twist of German Expressionism.
The makeup team should definitely be nominated this coming Academy Awards for their tremendous work on both Sergio's Happy Clown and Javier's Sad Clown. I don't forsee their likenesses escaping my thoughts anytime soon.
Often nightmarishly absurd, shocking and irreverent, the visually rich cinematic tapestry defies a singular interpretation and like all great - or even good - art, sticks in the mind long after it is experienced.
The extras are not plentiful, but reveal certain tidbits on how the film came together. We get a 15-minute making of, and a pair of behind-the-scenes featurettes, followed by some info on the film's visual effects; and a Trailer. [RS] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.66:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.