A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
The man is middle-aged, impeccably dressed, perfectly groomed, obviously respectable. He has just barely caught his train. A young woman comes running down the station platform, also trying to catch the train. The man’s face reflects intense annoyance; he whispers something to the conductor, gives him a tip and is allowed into the train's restroom. He emerges with a pail of water, which, as the young lady tries to climb aboard, he pours on her head.
Ah, satisfaction… he settles down in his seat, only to discover intense curiosity among his fellow travelers. One of them, a psychologist who is a dwarf, finally speaks: “I could not help seeing what you did. I can tell from your appearance that you are a gentleman. Therefore, you must have had an excellent reason.”
Yes, the gentleman replies pleasantly, I had a most excellent reason. Seeming almost flattered by their curiosity, he tells them a story. And so, on a note both calm and sly, begins Luis Bunuel’s “That Obscure Object of Desire.”
Bunuel’s characters have been doing battle with erotic desire for more than 40 years now. They tend to be vain and fastidious people, middle-class, concerned with maintaining their self-respect. Yet they have a way of coming off second-best to lust, jealousy and an assortment of peculiar sexual obsessions. And Bunuel, who has just turned 77 years old, seems to learn more about their weaknesses with every year, and to find their passions increasingly funny.