“Frida” is the only film I have ever seen that not only captures the life of the artist, but could have been made by the artist herself had she been a film maker too. It is one thing to tell the story of an artist, but it is something else to evoke feelings of that person’s work. I was not prepared to be both inspired and amazed by this film.
“Frida” is a beautifully done biopic about Mexican artist and icon Frida Kahlo. No one else could have been better for the role than Salma Hayek. The resemblance these two exquisite woman share is amazing. Hayek exhibits all the passion that goes into being an artist, especially when playing off Alfred Molina, who plays Diego Rivera, Kahlo’s husband and a famous Mexican artist in his own right. You really do see more than a glimpse of the life these artists led.
Besides the characters, what makes this movie come to life are the beautiful tragedies in Kahlo’s life, starting with a trolley accident as a child. Director Julie Taymor did an amazing job making this scene look beautiful, as you see Kahlo on the trolley with the metal bar through her spine but with gold powder falling down on her, making it look magical. Then we see her flawed marriage that had more downs than ups, ironically making the relationship more believable. Then there’s Kahlo’s loss when she has a tragic miscarriage. Overall this movie is visually stunning and emotionally compelling.
What really impressed me were the artistic references. While watching the film I couldn’t help but feel inspired by the art, such as “A Few Small Snips,” “Henry Ford Hospital,” and “Self Portrait.” I was amazed by the variety of her artwork. Also, the movie showed Rivera painting infamous murals such as “National Palace” and “En El Arsenal.” I think this was an excellent choice by the filmmakers. That, and incorporating politics and the revolution that was going on at that time.
“Frida” is one movie that not just artists but anyone with a taste for excellent movies should appreciate. Even if you have never heard of Frida Kahlo, I recommend watching this film since it portrays a lot of her mind – not just as an artist, but as the strong, revolutionary woman who was a muse to all those around her.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.