Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hable con Ella/Talk to Her

Movie name: Hable con Ella/Talk to Her
Year of release: 2002
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Stars: Javier Camara, Dario Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Rosario Flores, Mariola Fuentes, Geraldine Chaplin, Elena Anaya
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9

Synopsis:Following the huge critical and audience success of "Todo Sobre mi Madre", Almodovar returned in 2002 with "Hable con Ella", another crowning achievement in his career. The film earned him an Oscar for best original screenplay and a nomination for best director. "Hable con Ella" crosses the stories of Benigno a male nurse, who is caring for Alicia, a beautiful young ballerina who has been in a coma for years and Marco, a journalist whose lover, Lydia, a bullfighter, is also taken to the same clinic after a serious incident. Benigno lives in the hopes that Alicia will come back, so they can embark on a relationship, whereas Marco knows that Lydia has her heart set upon someone else.
"Hable con Ella" is in a way a continuation of all of Almodovar's themes, but it is also one of his most sophisticated and elaborate film. The film is anchored by male characters, but all of them are entranced by their female partners - Benigno and Marco are both prisoners of their love for women who are for all intended purposes, beyond their reach. Their medical comas make them more unreachable, since they become ideal versions of femininity for both men. Almodovar shoots this film with surrealistic tones, mixing also the beauty of dance with the gorgeous tunes of Caetano Veloso. The acting is fantastic, with the highlight going to Javier Camara who creates a wonderful character in Benigno, filled with an enthusiasm, faith and warmth - even his flaws only make him grander and more heartbreaking. A fascinating film from a master.