It would have been nice to see the physical expulsion of the pent-up passion between the leads for more than just those few seconds or the short clips of their encounter Almodovar splices in between a moment of contemplation for the pair. Pascal and Hawke don’t ever kiss on the lips, either, which feels like a choice, but one that doesn’t make sense when it comes to the kind of unbridled passion Almodovar clearly wants to convey between them.
The film’s ending is a bit of a knock-out, and it shapes the context of the story in a way that plays on your mind well after the credits roll. As Pascal traps Hawke in a physical prison of his own design, they both resign to rot in the emotional prison of their feelings for one another. It’s a bold gut punch that illustrates how far gone these two characters really are, and how much their bond has enslaved them over the years despite being apart.
It’s a smart ending, one that feels like the natural evolution of the stakes Almodovar creates. However, it — and the film as a whole — would have been better served with more meat to chew on — an expansion on the backstory that leads us there in the first place. “Strange Way Of Life” is a delicate glimpse into the complicated emotional life of two men; men who breeze past friendship and find themselves connected and tormented by the bold bonds love can unexpectedly build. But with a longer runtime, the film would’ve been able to give us a fuller picture.
/Film Rating: 7.5 out of 10