Banderas returned to his 1970s Malága roots for this second go behind the camera (after 1999’s ‘Crazy in Alabama’), about a group of friends searching for a purpose in an era of limited opportunity. Adapted by Antonio Soler from his own novel, it centres on Miguelito (Alberto Amarilla), just recovered from a kidney op and dreaming of becoming a poet, and the girl he falls for, aspiring dancer Luli. Along with friends Babi and Paco, though, they soon find their hopes challenged by harsh reality. Beautifully photographed by Xavi Giménez and well performed by a talented young cast, Banderas’s film has an agreeably languid pace and isn’t without insight. But it tries too hard with a pretentiously poetic voice-over from a radio DJ fringe character and an overflow of sideplots and lyrical imagery that fail to coalesce as meaningfully as they might.