It's a leap year and Laura is marking February 29th in her calender with a red pen. We find out that her father died on that date, 4 years ago. She proceeds to live through the month by having sex with a stranger named Arturo, a man who enjoys rough sex. Towards the end of the month she asks Arturo for a huge favor that lands on the 29th.
"Oh no, Ronny is reviewing another drama!" I know, I know, I love them too much. These dark, bizarre little realistic things are far more interesting to me than most of the extreme film subgenre is. They manage to do so much with so little, and you usually care on a whole different level. It's pretty impressive really, and many extreme horror director's should take some notes from films like these. "Leap Year" isn't fantastic by any means, but it delivers a sad story that really makes you question the ending long after it's over.
Laura is a lonely Mexican woman. The only people that she has an important relationship with is her brother and this stranger, Arturo. Her brother comes to her from time to time and on these rare occasions Laura is genuinely happy. Arturo, however, is the closest she has to a boyfriend. He comes over at night to have some rough BDSM sex with her. The story takes place in February on a leap year. She marks the 29th with a red pen and explains to Arturo that it has been 4 years since her father passed away on that date. A day before the 29th, she is laying in bed talking with Arturo and asks him for a favor on the 29th.
I'm sorry if that synopsis isn't a lot to grasp for you, but the movie isn't really either. Maybe until the end, which makes it all come together. But it is a slow movie and you don't really know why you are watching this woman have sex with Arturo. At first it just seems like she's really lonely, and a peeping tom (as she masturbates while watching her neighbors) but that quickly turns around when she starts having harder and harder sex with Arturo. It goes from spanking to strangulation and even urinating. Until finally the ending explains everything for you. But it's not easy to know what to think of it when it finally ends. I was left trying to figure out if I would consider the ending sad or happy. I'm not sure I was satisfied by the ending, but at the same time I thought it was good. I guess some movies are just there, and you can take from it whatever you wish.
"Leap Year" is a good, unsettling drama film from Mexico that some are destined to hate just because they think it's porn (yes, lots of sex and some rather graphic stuff too). But there is a story there, and maybe an even bigger one than it seems at first glance. Monica del Carmen does a fantastic job as Laura and makes us feel for her, and Michael Rowe has started his film career with one hell of a bold drama as his debut. This might be something for the fans of something like "Dogtooth", even though I think that one is much better and they don't share much in terms of plot.