the fresh films reviews

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Hable con ella (2002)

Directed by:
Pedro Almodóvar
Talk to her
112 minutes
Produced by:
Agustín Almodóvar
Written by:
Pedro Almodóvar

Cast includes:

Benigno Martín Javier Cámara ½
Marco Zuluaga Darío Grandinetti
Alicia Leonor Watling
Lydia Gonzales Rosario Flores
Katerina Bilova Geraldine Chaplin



Almodóvar's brilliant dip into human taboo and unconventional love and goodness is a remarkable piece of cinema, visually as well as dramatically. The film portrays two young men who find themselves in similar explicit situations but with very different conceptions. Benigno is the caring nurse who devotes his life completely to the comatose girl he's watching over. Marco sees his new love, the toreadora Lydia, thrown into the same void. During their stays at the hospital, the two men find comfort in their joint hopelessness without necessarily perceiving things the same way.

Almodóvar has a way of using odd couples to create interest and empathy while at the same time often irrationalizing the "unimportant" twists in his plot. The genius of this is how he sneaks his humorous triviality into his far more sombre themes and discussions, thus creating an irresistible tone. The centre of his attention is to empathize with the unlikely guy, and in Benigno we are presented a character with a peculiar combination of creepy abnormality and fundamental goodness. Mirrored against the far more "normal" Marco, Almodóvar argues that the distance between condemnation and acclaim needn't be considerable. Javier Cámara is brilliant in the lead as Almodóvar implements sincere friendship, grief, unusual eroticism and a fantastic, surreal silent movie segment that encapsulates these extraordinary relationships.

Copyright © 15.12.2004 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang [HAVE YOUR SAY]