Strange Way of Life

Strange Way of Life
While Pedro Almodóvar manages to fit a lot of story into this gay western drama’s 31 minute runtime, it still ends feeling like merely the first act of a longer story.

Strange Way of Life

Release Date: October 6, 2023
Runtime: 00:31
After twenty-five years Silva rides a horse across the desert to visit his friend Sheriff Jake. They celebrate the meeting, but the next morning Jake tells him that reason for his trip is not to go down the memory lane of their friendship.

Two former lovers apart for 25 years reunite under unfortunate circumstances in . Silva () rides from his ranch to the town of Bitter Creek, where he is reunited with Sheriff Jake (). The two haven't seen each other for 25 years, since they were young gunslingers and secret lovers in Mexico. However, Silva has a very personal reason for reuniting with Jake.

Strange Way of Life Synopsis

Strange Way of Life is a 31-minute gay western short film written and directed by the legendary Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar (Volver, The Skin I Live In). The film is Almodóvar's second English-language film, following his 2020 short The Human Voice, which is screening alongside Strange Way of Life during its theatrical run. The film stars Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke as former lovers, who find themselves at opposite ends of a very complicated situation.

My Thoughts on Strange Way of Life

Pedro Almodóvar manages to fit quite a lot of story in Strange Way of Life‘s brisk half-hour running time, beginning with a melancholy Spanish serenade and ending on a note that is quite bittersweet. The short utilizes a flashback to depict the initial romance between Jake (Jason Fernández) and Silva (José Condessa), as their older selves played by Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal find themselves on opposite sides of a legal matter.

Probably the biggest criticism I have about Strange Way of Life is that the film feels like the first act of a longer story. The film ends on a note that is more a melancholic sense of regret and longing, than having any real resolution. Strange Way of Life leaves you wanting to see what becomes of Jake and Silva.

Strange Way of Life is screening theatrically, accompanied by Almodóvar's 2020 short film The Human Voice

Trailer for Strange Way of Life

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.