|Directed by||Pedro Almodóvar|
|Produced by||Agustín Almodóvar|
|Written by||Pedro Almodóvar|
Rossy de Palma
|Release date(s)||21 October 1993|
|Running time||114 min|
Kika (Veronica Forqué), a young, bubbly aspiring actress turned cosmetologist, is called to the cottage of Nicholas Pierce (Peter Coyote), an American freelance writer who has moved to Spain to write about game hunting, to make-up the corpse of his stepson, Ramón (Alex Casanovas), before notifying the authorities. The circumstances of Ramón's "death" are rather suspicious, but Kika does not raise an issue of them and performs her work on Ramón. It turns out that he is not dead, and is actually catatonic. He is revived by Kika's attentions; soon after Ramón tells her the story of his life: he is a lingerie photographer who hasn't coped with the suspicious death of his mother, for which he blames Nicholas (since he was the last person to see her alive, and since he has since read his mother's diary, in which Nicholas is portrayed as abusive). Feeling empathic to Ramón, and in part turned on by the whole experience, she decides to move in with him.
While living with Ramón, Kika has a secret affair with Nicholas. She feels sorry for Ramón, but is turned off by his constant melancholy moods. To complicate things, he has to evade the constant intrusive gaze of tabloid-TV star -and Ramon's former psychologist- Andrea Caracortada ("Andrea Scarface", played by Victoria Abril), who is also a former lover of Nicolás', and who stalks him since they broke up. Andrea, who wears costumes designed by Gianni Versace on and off the air, has become obsessed with obtaining morbid topics for her tabloid TV show (one of them shows live footage of a woman being killed at a cemetery at gunpoint, an incident taken almost verbatim from a 1993 incident in Fort Lauderdale, where the killing of a Cuban-born woman by her estranged husband was filmed by a television crew). She assumes that hanging around Ramón and Nicholas will eventually lead to some juicy news item.
Kika and Ramón's part-time maid (Rossy de Palma) is the sister of Paul Bazzo (a pun on polvazo, which means "great fuck" or "big ejaculation" in Spanish slang), a former porn actor with a low IQ who has just escaped from jail. Paul received a good conduct leave, and attended the Good Friday procession at San Vicente de la Sonsierra, a small town in Spain renowned for having penitents, commonly called "Los Pica'os" ("The pricked"), self-flagellate during the event. Disguised himself as a penitent (complete with white, hooded robes, typical of some religious ceremonies in Spain), Paul escapes custody and takes shelter at his sister's workplace. Kika happens to be sound asleep in her bedroom. After asking his sister for money and manhandling her breasts (Juana used to have sex with Paul in order to help him steam-off and prevent him from raping other women and getting into trouble, later she has become a lesbian) he finds Kika lying in bed while wearing no panties. He then rapes her while she's asleep. She wakes up, and notices Paul on top of her. She wants him to leave.
An anonymous tip to two clumsy police officers leads them to investigate the rape while it is still taking place. By the time they reach the place, Paul is being pulled off Kika by two people while she's still holding on to him. He unlocks himself from her, goes to the roof of the building, and masturbates to relieve himself while Andrea is coincidentally entering the building, various stories below. A drop of semen falls on her face.
Kika, who is humiliated by the experience, relives her humiliation once more when Andrea gets a hold of a videotape featuring her rape by Paul and shows it on her television show, and plans to leave the city for good.
Nicholas and Ramón try to figure out the identity of the anonymous voyeur who shot the video, but have no luck. Meanwhile, Andrea is watching footage that she previously took of Kika at her balcony when she notices Nicholas and Susana (Bibí Andersen) having an affair from the balcony of the apartment above Kika. She notices a vase that was on a coffee table suddenly disappear and a glimpse of a hand striking something from behind the couch. The following scene shows Nicholas dragging the nude body of a woman wrapped in a blanket, leaving a blood trail on the floor. Ramón sees this upon entering his dead mother's house to bring some of her belongings and asks Nicholas about it. He brushes it off simply as a hallucination.
While rummaging through some of the belongings, Ramón muses about the sudden departure of Kika and mentions that he read a diary left by his mother. The diary contains little or no mention of him yet talks at length about Nicholas, which angers him. They get into an argument about whether it was murder or suicide with Ramón pointing out a ripped part of a page from the diary and accusing Nicholas of murdering his mother (the latter still adamant it was a sucide). While wandering through the house, he stumbles onto the nude body of a woman laying in a box (presumably Susana) and collapses onto the floor, dying of shock.
Andrea goes to the house initially to pay Nicholas an advancement for his book, but confronts him instead about the murder of Susana. She tries to break into the house, going as far as trying to unlock a deadbolt on the front door. Nicholas tries to stab her with a pronged pitchfork, but she shoots him in the thigh with a gun and manages to get inside the house with the gun in tow. She holds Nicholas by gunpoint and asks him again about Susana. He tries to distract her by throwing a picture frame at her, but she ends up firing two shots, one hitting the left side of his abdomen, knocking him to the floor. She asks him one last time about the murders, but ends up being pulled down to the ground by her thigh from Nicholas and shot in the chest with her own gun.
Kika heads to the house after reading a note that Ramón left earlier in the apartment only to see the body of Andrea in a pool of blood and Nicholas sitting up against the wall, slowly dying of his wounds. He hands her a manuscript of an autobiographic novel he was working on, telling her to change the title and main character's name. He eventually dies in her arms. Kika also finds Ramón on a bed in an upstairs room and tries to revive him. He does wake up after being shocked by her through his big toe. She tells him that both Nicholas and Andrea are dead and wonders about the origins of a ring that Ramón had given her earlier, thinking that it keeps giving her bad luck. He tells her that the ring was from his mother and she got it from her husband (Ramón's biological father) who was decapitated in a car accident some years ago.
She follows the ambulance taking Ramón to the hospital, but decides to pull off the road after a man flags her down hoping to offer a ride to a wedding he is supposed to attend. She initially tells him that he will drop him off at a gas station so that he can get a taxi, but decides to go with him saying that she is in need of a "distraction".
Perez Prado's "Concierto para Bongó" serves as background music for some scenes, including the Pica'os self-flagellation scenes, a car chase and Kika's rape scene (when replayed in television by Andrea). Tite Curet Alonso's song "Teatro", as sung by La Lupe, is the film's musical theme.
- Kika at the Internet Movie Database
- Kika at Rotten Tomatoes
- Kika at Box Office Mojo
- Kika, Pedro Almodovar – official website
- Janet Maslin, Kika (1993) – Another Sly, Dizzy Romp With Pedro Almodovar, NY Times, 6 May 1994
- Kevin Thomas, Almodovar's 'Kika': Freewheeling Parable, LA Times, 6 May 1994