In the title role of Pedro Almodovar's 1994 darkly outrageous attack on propriety, Veronic Forque emerges as an adorable innocent. She's sweet, wild and kind, but it's her naivete that protects her like a suit of armor. Had not Almodovar overplayed his hand by stretching out a clever and ironic finish interminably, "Kika" could well have been among his best efforts. As it is, we find Kika, a Madrid make-up artist, steeped in a complicated love life; her lovers are played by, among others, Alex Casanovas and Peter Coyote. What Almodovar intends is a parable on violence, which has become so random, and sex--so bizarre--that both have lost meaning. With Victoria Abril and Rossy de Palma (pictured), both from Almodovar's stable of reliable actors (Cinemax early Wednesday at 2:20 a.m.).

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