Tag Archives: Los novios Búlgaros

Los novios Búlgaros/ Bulgarian Lovers (2003)

love Eloy de la Iglesia but couldn’t get on with his last, Los novios búlgaros/ Bulgarian Lovers (2003). It’s still a story taken from a contemporary situation, here Eastern European workers trying to make a better life for themselves and being a bit free and loose as to how they do so. But whereas once Iglesia’s outlook and that of the marginals he focussed on where as one, here there’s a distinction, a separation. It’s them and us. The film’s outlook is that of the middle-aged bourgeois lawyer; the younger Bulgarian lover is an object of desire, a spark to craziness, a lesson. The acting is quite variable throughout the film, and the campiness that Iglesia finally felt liberated to revel in feels forced, false and witless. Iglesia was never a visual stylist but his films had a pulpy melodramatic verve that felt real and urgent. This tries to be funny and touching and often fails. It’s Iglesia’s last film — and his first since La estanqueria de Vallecas in 1987 –and I wish it were better.

José Arroyo