Pedro Almodóvar, the Spanish filmmaker known for his bold and avant-garde works, returns with his latest production "Strange Way of Life", which stars Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke as gay cowboys. The film is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and is drawing early comparisons to Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain".
A Reimagining of "Brokeback Mountain"
Almodóvar was originally approached to direct "Brokeback Mountain", but the job eventually went to Ang Lee. Nevertheless, "Strange Way of Life" has been referred to by Almodóvar as his answer to "Brokeback Mountain", and the official synopsis hints at a similar story of forbidden love in the western frontier.
The film follows the reunion of friends Silva (Pedro Pascal) and Jake (Ethan Hawke) after 25 years apart. Silva sets out on a journey through the desert to visit Sheriff Jake, who he worked with as a hired gunman in the past.
The two celebrate their reunion, but the next morning, Sheriff Jake reveals that reminiscing about their friendship was not the true reason for his visit.
Themes of "The Strange Way of Life"
The title of the film, "The Strange Way of Life", alludes to a famous fado by Amalia Rodrigues, whose lyrics suggest that there is no stranger existence than the one that is lived by turning one's back on one's desires.
Almodóvar has been tight-lipped about the specifics of the film's plot, saying, "I must say no more so as not to give away all the surprises of the script."
Pedro Pascal on Working with Almodóvar
Pedro Pascal, who plays Silva, has been effusive in his praise for Almodóvar, saying, "He absolutely opened up an entire world of storytelling, color, culture, rebellion, and sexuality that was just absolutely intoxicating, dangerous, hilarious, heartbreaking, and encompassing the whole spectrum, but with such a signature style." The actor also expressed his excitement about working with Ethan Hawke, saying, "To get to work with Ethan, whose movies I’ve seen since I was a little kid, who I’ve seen onstage off-Broadway, on Broadway, whose books I’ve read, whose plays I’ve seen him direct, and big movies, small movies, horror movies."
With its all-star cast and daring subject matter, "Strange Way of Life" promises to be a standout film of the year. Almodóvar's signature style and Pedro Pascal's enthusiasm make it a film to watch out for.