Gloria, a single mother with financial difficulties, is invited to come and live with her friend, Dr. Ana Torres, a gynecologist who runs a clinic out of her home when not working at the hospital. In return for letting Gloria and her daughter stay with her, Ana asks that Gloria help with secretarial work at the home clinic, as well as provide a little much needed company for the lonely Ana. However, Ana is carrying a few secrets, with one being that she actually performs illegal abortions out of her home, the other, she is a lesbian with a major crush on Gloria.
Quick, which secret is hotter?!
Directed by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador (of Who Can Kill a Child fame), Blame (La Culpa) has two very well developed female characters that are strongly portrayed by both lead actresses (played by Montse Mostaza and Nieve de Medina). The almost male/female dynamic between Ana and Gloria is a strength of the film, with Gloria having nothing to stand on to keep her and her child afloat, whereas Ana sees this as an opportunity to win Gloria's affection. Ana provides shelter and food for Gloria and her daughter as if she were trying to buy Gloria's love, but with Gloria being straight, she is not at all interested in Ana. In a way, they are almost using each other to get what they want, but Gloria isn't giving Ana what she desires, no matter how hard Ana tries.
A major character trait of Ana is how incredibly successful she is at manipulation, specifically when it comes to unstable females. Many of the pregnant women that come in to see 'Dr. Ana' are young and impressionable girls who made a mistake and are now suffering the consequences. Ana uses their venerability to give these young women "advice," convincing them that abortion would be the best course of action in their unfortunate situation. This all plays into the Gloria character, who becomes pregnant from an unseen lover and is conflicted as to what she should do in the situation. Even though she initially wants to keep it, Ana uses her manipulation skills to coerce Gloria into aborting her baby. It's never clear as to why Ana would seem to want these women or Gloria to have abortions. Maybe it has something to due with her not being able to have kids herself, or maybe it could even have to do with her choice of sexuality.
Regardless of how well the characters are written, somehow, they are completely uninteresting, and I felt no connection to them whatsoever. Seeing as this film is driven by the two female characters, the lack of association I felt towards them is a major disconnect from the film as a whole. Now, I'm not sure how much of this is due to weak storytelling or if it's because I am watching from a male perspective. Maybe my absence of a uterus disconnects me from the abortion angle of Blame and a woman may take more from this film then I did, but I doubt it.
I'm totally in touch, brah.
Blame is filled with a number of plot holes, it's completely boring and mostly pointless. It's hard to say more about the film's story, as there is no real threat while, at times, there are attempts to make it look as if there is with heavy use of misdirection. Only problem with that is, if you want to misdirect, then what caused the misdirected moments to begin with? It's a wild goose chase that is not at all wild, just snooze inducing.
There is very little tension, no sense of dread and this comes from all angles of the film. Most of the music is weak and cheap sounding, and even though the film looks nice enough and the location is fantastic, something as simple as a wipe cut looks like something you would find in a Lifetime movie. It's fitting as Blame feels like just that, a Lifetime movie (but not NEARLY as good), but with a clear, over-the-top message that comes across quite blatantly in the film's ridiculous conclusion.
I wish I could get an abortion, but mommy says I'm "too young." What a crock of shit.
And oh boy is the ending shot of Blame so completely moronic and silly that I actually fell back, slack jawed in amazement. It's embarrassing for all of those behind the film with this clear stance taken on abortion that does nothing more than alienate its audience. Outside of the abortion message of the film, as well as with all of the women that get these abortions, including the Gloria character, there seems to be a message that women who get abortions are unstable or even slutty in a sense. Like women are without the ability to make smart decisions for themselves. Nice to know I spent 72 minutes of my life watching a misogynistic propaganda film that could barely keep my attention.
Who can kill a child? Apparently dumb loose women can.