An Arturo Risptein film can always be expected to be different – to put in mildly. The appropriately titled DEVIL BETWEEN THE LEGS, shot in shiny black and white is the drama of an ageing couple. Beatriz (Sylvia Pasquel) and the Old Man (Alejandro Suárez) have been together for too long.
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). Ripsein’s film is 3-hours long and moves at a snail’s pace unlike his others like DEEP CRIMSON and BLEAK STREET. There is only so much patience one can have in watching two old folks go at each other, or have affairs outside their marriage. DEVIL is too slow for its own good. Ripsten is good at this kind of stuff, but a more tightly edited 90 minute movie would have been perfect.
Beware! There are scary scenes of ageing flesh having sex. Yet, Ripstein’s occasionally moving film still captivates despite its flaws.