Geriatric sex and other hazards plaguing aging lovers get a candid, unflinching, and darkly hilarious spin in the latest from legendary Mexican director-screenwriter duo Arturo Ripstein and Paz Alicia Garcíadiego (Bleak Street).
Devil Between the Legs
From legendary Mexican director-screenwriter duo Arturo Ripstein and Paz Alicia Garcíadiego, last at the Festival in 2015 with the hauntingly lurid Bleak Street, comes this tale of elderly amour fou. Eerily beautiful, utterly profane, and riddled with insights into human desire at its basest, Devil Between the Legs ushers us into the private chambers of warring old lovers to capture scenes few films have dared to envision.
Beatriz (Sylvia Pasquel) and the Old Man (Alejandro Suárez) have been together for decades. A retired homeopathic pharmacist, the Old Man now divides his time between their Mexico City home where he shuffles around in his housecoat, raging against Beatriz, and paying secret visits to his mistress. Beatriz, when not bearing the brunt of the Old Man's tirades, sneaks out to take tango lessons — and to proposition her younger dance partner (Daniel Giménez Cacho, also at the Festival with Chicuarotes). With their children having grown up and abandoned them long ago, the only person left to witness the aging couple's ever-escalating routine is Dinorah (Greta Cervantes), the young maid who will eventually take matters into her own hands.
Shot in silvery black and white and featuring Friedrich Hollaender's wistful "Falling in Love Again" as its poignant refrain, Devil Between the Legs is arrestingly candid about geriatric sex. Through Ripstein and Garcíadiego's absorbing story, we come to understand the labyrinthine intricacies of how active minds, hearts, and libidos negotiate with the vagaries of ailing bodies. The result is darkly hilarious and strangely touching.