A well-acted revenge drama, OUTRAGE seems rather anomalous to the career of acclaimed director Carlos Saura (CRIA, BLOOD WEDDING). It's not that his skills--potent compositions, an affinity for eroticism--aren't in evidence, but that they service a merely workmanlike screenplay.
Cynical newshound Marco Vallez (Antonio Banderas) discovers his latent romantic instincts stirred at the circus by Italian-born sharpshooter Ana (Francesca Neri). They commence an affair, but while Marco toils out of town on assignment Ana is brutally raped by three itinerant laborers. Badly
injured and still in shock, Ana tracks down the trio to a garage and cold-bloodedly guns them down. Hunted by police and pilloried in the tabloids, Ana nearly runs down a child, then takes the boy's family hostage in their home. Pressured by his editor to put a personal spin on the now-notorious
Ana's standoff, reporter Marco refuses and races to save his lover's life. Trading places with the terrified family, Marco cradles Ana, but his intervention is too late. By daybreak, she dies from internal bleeding.
Eloquently capturing the trauma of rape without sensationalizing the crime, Saura delivers a vivid exploration of how violence begets violence. Although Ana's downward spiral isn't that suspenseful, Saura lets the audience fall in love with volatile heroine Ana along with Marco, thus making her
degradation all the more hideous. Without excusing her actions, Saura sets up the payback tragedy in fatalistic terms; in more ways than one, the rape is a death sentence not just for the perpetrators but for Ana, whose violation destroys her spirit before it breaks her body.
What Saura can't do is transcend the limits of the material's straightforward presentation. Even if we're not in Charles Bronson-DEATH WISH territory, the film lacks the quirkiness and depth of melodramas like 1988's THE ACCUSED or 1987's SHAME. OUTRAGE piques viewer involvement without ever
suggesting that this well-crafted outcry is a project close to the director's heart. The film bears the stamp of a master, not a sense of the director's personality or burning desire to make this particular movie. (Extreme profanity, graphic violence, extensive nudity, sexual situations, substanceabuse.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: A well-acted revenge drama, OUTRAGE seems rather anomalous to the career of acclaimed director Carlos Saura (CRIA, BLOOD WEDDING). It's not that his skills--potent compositions, an affinity for eroticism--aren't in evidence, but that they service a merely… (more)