Frida

Movie review by
David Gurney, Common Sense Media
Frida Movie Poster Image
Graphic biopic of artist Frida Kahlo.
  • R
  • 2002
  • 122 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Romanticizes the tortured life of married artists who constantly disrespect their marital commitments.

Violence

Fistfights, shootings, verbal arguments.

Sex

Multiple scenes of sexual intercourse, rampant marital infidelity, graphic miscarriage scene, and discussion of all the above.

Language

Very strong language.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Celebration of drinking and smoking, use of drugs to dull pain of medical condition.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is a graphic and explicit rendering of the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek), and in particular, her rocky relationship with fellow artist and husband Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina). There is a lot sex shown between the couple and with their various alternate lovers, including women with whom both Frida and Diego cheat. The atmosphere of almost every scene is charged with either sexual or violent tension, or both. When Frida suffers a miscarriage, the fetus is shown preserved in formaldehyde while she sketches it into a painting. The couple's affiliation with socialist ideologues, especially Leon Trotsky (Geoffrey Rush), brings violence to the forefront -- from barroom brawls to attempted assassinations. Celebration scenes are marked by the presence of copious alcohol consumption, and near the end of her life, Frida is shown to become dependent on various pain medications due to complications from injuries received in a bus accident earlier in her life. The film glorifies Frida and Diego as important artists, while it also shows the misery that they endured.

User Reviews

Adult Written bykatielynn08 November 23, 2010

Too many explicit scenes and not enough art!

I love Mexican art and history, but this film does a disservice to the legacy of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera by its explicit depiction of their many extramarit... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byEighth Grader December 20, 2011

Too much sex and drinking!

I'm in the 8th grade and I had to watch this movie my in Spanish class. I thought it was wayyy to explicit and now 'arty' enough. There is tons o... Continue reading

What's the story?

FRIDA is a vivid cinematic rendering of the life of artist Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek). Dying at 47, Frida's life was one filled with tragedy and turmoil far beyond her years. While undoubtedly helping to fuel her passion for painting, her relationship with fellow artist, husband, and sometimes mentor Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) is portrayed as tortuous on many levels -- most prominently his inability to commit to a monogamous relationship. Of course, Frida is shown to follow his lead with both extramarital female partners and male partners, including Soviet political exile Leon Trotsky (Geoffrey Rush).

Is it any good?

The time period of Frida's life is one of great political strife and revolutionary ideals in Mexico, and the film seethes with the fervor of unrest. Her artwork is vividly woven into the film through digital transitions that seem to bring her paintings to life at times, or else incorporate her visual motifs into powerful dream sequences. While it will captivate any viewer with even a passing interest in understanding the fevered lives of such great artists, the film does have one fairly substantial flaw.

For as much as Frida's tribulations are presented, Hayek is just too effervescent to be convincingly debilitated through most of the film. While in the end -- when her infirmities finally catch up to her -- her demise is still believable, until then, it can be rather easy to forget the physical maladies that played such an integral role in forging the character of Frida's work.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether an artist must live a tortured life to make important art. Are artists always so strongly principled when it comes to their politics? Why were politics so important in this era of Mexican history? Why does Frida enter into a marriage with Diego despite knowing his horrible record of infidelity? How can Diego remain unapologetic regarding his behavior, and does his behavior justify Frida's own infidelities?

Movie details

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