SPAIN 1939. WHILE THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR RAGES, TWO CLOWNS PERFORM IN A CIRCUS TENT IN FRONT OF A CROWD OF HAPPY, UNTROUBLED CHILDREN. BUT PLANES ROAR OVERHEAD AND THE EXPLOSIONS ARE STARTING TO GET TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. STILL THE SHOW MUST GO ON. UNTIL A MILITARY COMMANDER STORMS IN DURING THE PERFORMANCE, DEMANDING THAT EVERY ABLE-BODIED MAN ACCOMPANIES HIM AT ONCE AGAINST FRANCO’S REBELS.
Not knowing what to do, one clown refuses to be beaten to the ground. Seeing this the second complies. With no time to change clothes or remove make-up, the clown and his circus compatriots line up amongst the decimated soldiers. Still in his costume, he is handed a machete and led into battle against National soldiers operating under Franco’s fascist regime, where he single handedly massacres an entire platoon.
1973. In the tail end of the Franco regime. Javier, the son of the clown, dreams of following in his father's circus career footsteps but is haunted by the knowledge of his father’s stole childhood. Having seen too much tragedy in his life, he's simply not funny and is only equipped to play the role of the Sad Clown. He finds work in a circus where he befriends an outlandish cast of characters, but as the Sad Clown he must take the abuse of the brutish Happy Clown Sergio, who humiliates Javier daily in the name of entertainment. It is here that he meets Natalia, a gorgeous acrobat, and abused wife of Sergio. Javier falls deeply in love with Natalia and tries to rescue her from her cruel and violent husband, unleashing Sergio's jealousy. But Natalia is torn between her affection towards Javier, and her lust for Sergio. With neither man willing to back down and Natalia’s refusal to leave her abusive husband, while still leading on Javier, this twisted love triangle evolves into a ferocious battle between Sad Clown and Happy Clown, escalating to unbelievable heights which eventually culminates in a coulrophobic’s worst nightmare.
Balada Triste de Trompeta/The Last Circus brings an absurd and disturbing scenario that raises the curtain on a twisted tale of love, revenge, and psychopathic clowns that could only spring from the mind of filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia. But set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil war, the film is much more than a sad love story. Dealing with issues of a country in unrest, a stolen childhood and public prejudices, The Last Circus is an at times horrific, often overwhelming explosion for your senses.
Balada Triste de Trompeta/The Last Circus, written and directed by Álex de la Iglesia and starring Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, Santiago Segura and Caroline Bang, is playing this summer in theatres all over the world. –BM-
BALADA TRISTE DE TROMPETA/THE LAST CIRCUS | BEAUTIFULMAG