As it has been mentioned many times before, Pedro Almodóvar is a really distinctive filmmaker. You might hate his movies or you may love them, but you can’t just ignore them. They are the type of films that leave the viewer with a level of intrigue that beckons hours of conversation and analysis and Talk to Her isn’t an exception.
Almodóvar presents a clever, moving and peculiarly amusing film in the context of a hospital and around two comatose women.
Talk to Her is a film of two parallel stories that take place and collide with one another. The first story involves Marco, played by Darío Grandinetti, a journalist in love with Lydia, a famous matador (Rosario Flores). After a severe accident during her last bullfighting performance, she is left in a coma with little chance of recovery. The second story revolves around Benigno, played by Javier Cámara, a male nurse taking care of Alicia, (Leonor Watling) a young ballerina who is also comatose. While Marco finds it difficult to deal with the whole situation, Benigno helps him out by giving him advice and comforting him as a great friendship begins to grow.
The stories evolve in the present while there are flashbacks full of details regarding the characters’ lives and pasts. Both men are deeply in love with the women and both of them are in a difficult position. Marco finds out that Lydia is about to leave him for her former lover while Benigno can’t comprehend Alicia’s situation, believing that he is involved in a mutual love affair. With little choice, Marco leaves Lydia and travels toJordanin order to write a tourist guide. There, he reads in a newspaper that Benigno has been sent to prison, accused of raping Alicia and getting her pregnant.
This is when the moral issue arises. Alicia is awoken from her coma as she is giving birth (to Benigno’s child). And even though I know that I shouldn’t feel pity for Benigno, it is difficult not to question his motives and wonder if he may have been in some way justified. This hesitation may only last for a second, but it’s there, and this is something I love of about the film. It shows various interpretations of an act that would otherwise be put down as absolutely unacceptable in every way.
This is effect is entirely a result of Almodóvar’s characters. They are bizarre, but interesting. They are fictitious but real. With Benigno – the most controversial character – a character presented as a naïve person with no intention of causing any harm, being genuinely in love with Alicia. He means well, he is emotional and full of affection; but he still violates and hurts her in a somewhat peculiar way. It’s not strange that the viewer ends up sympathizing with him. So when Marco wants to help him out, it kind of seems like the right thing to do.
Like all other Almodóvar films, the mark of Spanish culture is so strong that it manages to create a really interesting atmosphere and forces the audience to travel deep into it. The music, the scenery and the images of Spanish tradition along with one the most dangerous and delicate subjects mentionable, make this movie a must-see.
Hable Con Ella (Talk To Her) at IMDb
Hable Con Ella (Talk To Her) at Rotten Tomatoes
Hable Con Ella (Talk To Her) at Wikipedia
Hable Con Ella (Talk To Her) (awards won and nominated for) at IMDb
Hable Con Ella (Talk To Her) official website at sonyclassics.com
Pedro Almodóvar at Wikipedia
Pedro Almodóvar’s blog