Talk to Her
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Spanish cinema’s golden boy Pedro Almodovar’s latest focuses on two men (Benigno and Marco) who are dealing with the special women in their lives lying in comas. Benigno (Camara) is the male nurse who takes care of Alicia (Leonor) and has fallen deeply in love with her. As the two men grow to become close friends, circumstances separate them into a conclusion that is as much surprising as it is beautiful.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Many people tend to shy away from foreign cinema because it involves a lot of undertones, symbolism and in some cases heavy doses of pretense. I, for the most part, like that and welcome the difference. But, rest assured TALK TO HER can be fulfilling on any level you wish to view it on. I’ve been a fan of Almodovar since seeing WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (back when Banderas was still an actor). He’s taken it upon himself to focus primarily on women in his films and time and time again, manages to bring a fresh and moving tribute to these wonderful creatures. The title says it all, TALK TO HER, the wonders that a few words can do to the fairer sex (and actions obviously) is just a taste of what Pedro offers this time around, in a story about how strong a bond can be formed between not only two opposite personalities (Marco & Benigno), but a couple in which one of the participants is in a permanently unconscious state. Sure, there are a lot nuances and quirky Almodovar touches (a brilliant silent film within the film) in this movie, but that’s what makes his films special and often times, extraordinary. He entertains and enlightens in TALK TO ME while showing the most beautiful and ugly sides of this thing called love.
TALK TO HER picked up the academy award for best original screenplay and deservedly so. The story was original and moving to begin with, but the movie takes an unexpected wild left and a sharp right near the halfway mark which ultimately made the final impact that much greater. Alberto Iglesias’ music plays a pivotal role in the film as well, Almodovar touched on that a bit in his commentary; he emphasized how crucial the music is during certain scenes and how Iglesias’ music set the tone so well throughout the film. Of course, all the actors were also superb (as they always are in Almodovar films) but Leonor Watling impressed me the most (in an almost completely silent role) by the emotions she translated through her body alone (Pedro also went on about the weeks of yoga she took in order to look alive rather than dead while in the coma “state”). If you’re still hesitating on trying out your first foreign film, I can’t think of a better film on which to get the ball rolling than this one...
Besides several trailers and weblinks, the only extra feature on this DVD is the audio commentary by the director and actress Geraldine Chaplin (daughter of Charlie). This is one of the most interesting and enjoyable commentaries I’ve ever been lucky to listen to. As a growing fan of Pedro’s, it was fascinating to hear the man break his intentions down piece by piece through many scenes, shots, music and more. He’s an incredibly charismatic man who was well teamed with Geraldine on this, as she was very involved in making observations and asking Almodovar questions about the film in which she herself had a part. It’s a must-listen for any fan of the film and its director. The commentary track is in Spanish but translated in English on the bottom.
It’s nice to get out of the monotony of local films and try to see what wonders some of the foreign cinema has to offer. TALK TO HER is must-see; it boasts a finely crafted script with great acting and another wonderful tribute to the powers that all women have and what some men must do (and often can’t) to reach the deepest, darkest depths of their heart. Heh, heh, a little of that pretense might have rubbed off on me…Seriously though, buy it today and talk to me about it later.