Written & Directed By: Pedro Almodovar
Cinematography: Javier Aguirresarobe
Editor: Jose Salcedo
Cast: Javier Camara, David Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Rosario Flores, Mariola Fuentes, Geraldine Chaplin
After a chance encounter at a theater, two men, Benigno and Marco, meet at a private clinic where Benigno works. Lydia, Marco’s girlfriend and a bullfighter by profession, has been gored and is in a coma. It so happens that Benigno is looking after another woman in a coma, Alicia, a young ballet student. The lives of the four characters will flow in all directions, past, present and future, dragging all of them towards an unsuspected destiny.
When it comes to Director Pedro Almodovar, With certain films his attention to detail is mesmerizing by even just the appreciation to women their style dress mannerisms and femininity is fascinating and he pulls us in
Especially for a filmmaker who has always been artistic but also an early provocateur looking more to shock it seems Maybe now, we Just pay more attention to every aspect of his filmmaking. Such as Melodrama, sense of color and suspense
As he seems to base his later films around stories and the works of noted authors he is a fan of, trying to match the depth and tone of their work.
Which might be why this film feels like reading a book. Introductions are made for our main characters but we really don’t know their situations, emotions, motivations or history until the film. Keeps moving and chooses to make the revelations of the twisted stories and personal histories.
As things aren’t always as they seem. It feels like watching Two love stories that are parallel, but then come together. Though it could also be seen by the end. As before , that leads to the worthwhile love story of two damaged people brought together.
As one character stays a victim throughout. As she is more an object of fascination and infatuation. A kind of ideal, who is violated without her knowledge or permission. Then in the end. Looks to get into a romance with someone involved with her attacker of sorts.
It’s a film that challenges you. As the audience might not like or agree with the ending. As one romance is cut short though has time to blossom, yet find out it was ending. The other romance never truly existed. As it had a promising start until extreme acts ended it before it could truly start.
As the character of Benigno could be seen as hopeless romantic, but is more a stalker. Who gets his chance to be near his obsession. Ultimately being devoted to her care and taking care of her, but also getting to be physically intimate with her. Which he never treats as sexual or abused in that way at first. In fact he seems asexual sexually as though he loves her. He seems attracted and flirtatious with Marco in their friendship.
It would seem he lives up to the ultimate title of caregiver. He also seems to idolize women as when he first falls for Alicia, it is while he is taking care of his own dying mom and it seems once she is gone. Out of loneliness his care and loving feelings are transferred to Alicia. just as he is devoted to her in the hospital, but opens up and shows feelings for Alicia even as his co-worker obviously likes him but he stays blind to it.
In fact until he is inspired by a silent movie (in a shocking and visually stunning scene) he never gets sexual. The one time he does in a selfish and undefendable act, is when he is finally punished. Throughout the movie we never really see sex, but it is introduced and we are thrown in The emotional pull of it.
Where it gets more troubled is that this act actually brings upon a kind of miracle… a cure. Where he suffers and deserves to for her recovery and it feels like a minor religious allegory of it all. It also causes a salvation for his friend Marco
Throughout the film there are artistic touches that only add color to the characters and situations. In the end what should be simple is so haywire emotionally, but has beautiful conclusions. Albeit dark and in moments that feel sumptuous.
Even in the bullfighting sequences more the alpha but most emotional of the couple. She always feels more in control. As physically stronger and masculine yet always needing to be saved and supported in life.
It feels like we are watching lives with a bit of serendipity, not a movie or a story. Yet we are still showcased the more interesting parts
Oddly this film is exactly what I thought it would be but still amazing. As it unfolds like a novel and feels nurturing and strangely full. Even though at heart it is disturbing if you think deep about it. it is also romantic