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Fragile (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Jaume Balagueró

Starring:
Calista Flockhart/Amy
Yasmin Murphy/Maggie
Richard Roxburgh/Robert
Elena Anaya/Helen
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A down and out nurse (Flockhart) is appointed the night shift in a run down hospital where children patients are having their limbs mysteriously broken by an invisible force. Who’s busting bones and why?
THE LOWDOWN
Having appreciated Jaume Balagueró’s DARKNESS (and I saw the badly cut Dimension Films version at that) I was looking forward to FRAGILE and for a while there I was certain that I was in for a gem of a Gothic good time! Sadly I was eventually proven wrong, rigamotis wrong!

The first 40 minutes or so of FRAGILE had me firmly by the kanakas. The slightly RINGU-ish premise was a finger licking one while the bones being broken from the inside of one’s body device was quite novel. It looked like it hurt like a mofo! And to give more oomph to the proceedings, the victims were actually young kids (who can actually act), which jacked up my sympathy level big time. Poor little guys! I wanted to give them hugs and slap in a Barney DVD. The dread filled atmosphere on hand was mucho appealing as well. Gloomy, saturated, dark, depressing…I was loving every second of it! Props to the director and his cinematographer for the gorgeously morbid picture they painted. Finally; the scares were randomly efficient with some disturbing imagery at hand and a couple of potent boo jolts, which had me playing leap frog in my seat. NOTE: Thank you for the casting of the yummy Elena Anaya; she gave me something to gawk at when the flick reached Shitsville.

And did we ever enter Shitsville! Once the second half kicked in as Calista Flockhart registered high on the “embarrassing over acting” scale (scene in front of the mirror), it was down hill from there! After that, the plot snapped due to gaping plot holes, the appearance of bland “expositional” characters, a ludicrous motivation behind the lunacy, a shoddy hint at a love story, silly set pieces, half baked subplots, improbable “annoying character” reactions to the situation (That old nurse man…hold me back!) and a ghost that looked more like a failed drag queen than an entity I should fear. People were busting a gut in the theatres and yes I was one of them! It was not supposed to be funny! Moreover, the quality of acting decreased, as everybody involved seemed like they forgot their skills or/and wanted to leave the set ASAP. Maybe the crumbling script they had to interpret was a reason behind that. I said maybe…

All in all FRAGILE could’ve been something; the initial idea was good, its visuals were morbidly appealing and its scares efficient half the time. Bummer that the screenplay and its carrying out broke down at the halfway point. At least I still had Elena Anaya’s “insert here lips” to marvel at! Thank the Lord for women!
GORE
We get broken limbs, blood from a broken needle inside one’s skin and more broken limbs.
ACTING
Calista Flockhart (Amy) was fine when she played it low key. But she made a fool of herself when it was time to get emotional. She was way too big! Why didn’t the director hold her back? Yasmin Murphy (Maggie) was magnificent! A photogenic child who can act! WHO KNEW? Richard Roxburgh (Robert) was either cashing a check or cashing a check…serviceable. Elena Anaya (Helen) had me dreaming of white Christmas! What a hottie! She was a decent actress too.
T & A
Elena Anaya in clothes was more arousing than 10 nude Playboy Playmates, greased and lying on top of one another. I can just imagine her underdressed…I can just imagine…sniff sniff…
DIRECTING
Jaume Balagueró has a great eye no doubt and he expertly capitalized on his setting (loved the ocean view and the hospital). Furthermore he knew how to inject infectious atmosphere into the proceedings and creep out the audience.
SOUNDTRACK
We get a beautifully glum score that worked wonders for the picture.
BOTTOM LINE
FRAGILE was tops when it came to its foundation; its dreary yet polished visuals and its able frights. Then the film broke in half like a celery stick since the screenplay and the handling of it shifted into amateur night at the filmmaking outhouse. It’s really a shame with this one where it could’ve been a great film in my opinion. Oh well my mourning period is now over, off to the next genre opus.
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot in Barcelona, Cataluña, Spain.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL FRAGILE PAGE HERE

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5:54AM on 10/15/2005
Well, if you want to see Elena Anaya bare naked, watch Sex and Lucia, where you can also enjoy the full body of Paz Vega (Spanglish). The film is quite good by itself, but that's a plus!

As for Fragile, somehow i'm not interested at all. I liked both prior films from Balaguer, but this just seems like a copy/paste from Darkness.
Well, if you want to see Elena Anaya bare naked, watch Sex and Lucia, where you can also enjoy the full body of Paz Vega (Spanglish). The film is quite good by itself, but that's a plus!

As for Fragile, somehow i'm not interested at all. I liked both prior films from Balaguer, but this just seems like a copy/paste from Darkness.
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