Pedro Almodovar ‘s one of the best film makers of modern times, and put Spain and its films and industry right in the spotlight.
The first film of his that I saw was TALK TO HER, and one viewing of this (of several many times) and I fell in love.
My brother who travels a lot and is quite experimentative and consumes everything from documentaries, non fictional to global regional and experimentative genres. He’d given this DVD among a lot of others including TV series and documentaries. I tried seeing a lot of them, but finally when I saw TALK TO HER, it was hard not to forget it or not discuss this with someone or even think about when I could dedicate time to see this again. Some movies do this to you, and TALK TO HER is one of them.
Now Pedro Almodovar’s superlative and all his movies in that period during his peak are good, but this being the first movie I saw made a real strong impression.
This is also one of the best showcases of Spain, its society, healthcare, and how invalids are treated by their healthcare. At the heart of this is how care is taken of invalids among Comatose patients. The story mainly revolves around one of the caretakers of a female patient. He eventually falls in love with her and impregnates her. When it is discovered that she’s pregnant he’s fired and he commits suicide. She recovers and falls in love with the husband of another comatose patient. (its not as simple as that, and Its been sometime after my last viewing).
But this was story telling of the highest order. The movie moves languorously going through detailed display of how the caretakers give the comatose patients a sponge bath, there’s detailed discussion of ethics, and the pain that the family goes through and the decisions they need to make.
Almodovar has a bright palette in all his films which makes them distinctive, and you start getting into it. He also understand both females and the gay lesbian community very well, and how they live, talk, think and it comes our real. In his movies the characters are on edge, straining from life’s pressures and difficulties, and this comes out brilliantly without seeming like caricatures or exaggerations.
In Talk to Her there is a showcasing of a female matador, who is just brilliant, as she steps into the arena, and the entire sequence of her putting on the uniform and taking on the bull, before she eventually gets hurt and moves into the coma. Towards the end, there is some brilliant showcasing of modern contemporary dancing and theatre, you are left with a great impression of how lively and colourful the arts and sports of Spain are.
In talk to her, the surprise part was the fact that the caretaker takes to the patient, because the signal is very very strong that he’s gay – and in the other movies of Almodovar he’s played campy, effeminate gay characters. In this movie however, he’s the central character and holds the movie together.
The movie worked for me as it focused on everything new from this sensitive topic to a marginalized section and represented all of it colorfully and respectfully. It was beautiful and mandatory viewing for anyone interested in global cinema. It was the first step for me in discovering the world of Spanish cinema and Almodovar’s body of work.
Talk to her deservedly won a lot of awards and recognition for Almodovar, and is possibly one of his best works. Do go through it and experience the magic of Almodovar's film making.