Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

June 29, 2010

Spanish fly

Filed under: Have you seen this? — Rajeev @ 7:02 am

Like his best films, Pedro Almodovar’s Volver is hard to define. The term itself means “to return”, and the film features an ensemble cast of primarily female characters.

The story starts with a sexual assault, an act of violence, and the cover-up that follows. But we’re not so concerned with crime and punishment as we are with the relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends.

Spanning three generations of women, Volver stars Penelope Cruz as Raimunda, a housewife who works menial jobs to support her teenage daughter and her deadbeat husband, three years after the death of her mother. Raimunda’s sister is lonely, and her friend who suffers from cancer is disturbed over the disappearance of her own mother.

Without giving away too much about the intricate plot, let me just say that the film’s central theme concerns Raimunda’s efforts to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, and her mother’s efforts to atone for them. Anyone familiar with Almodovar’s cinema will agree it’s hard to explain the plot of his film because it’s like an onion waiting to be peeled, layer after layer revealing something new, something unique.

The film belongs to Penelope Cruz, who has never before seemed so comfortable in a role as she does playing Raimunda. It’s also an eye-opening experience, because studying her performance in Volver you’re able to understand exactly how little Hollywood has been able to use her talent.

If there was ever an award for Best Supporting Features, they’d have to give it to Penelope’s cleavage which is on full display here, and gets just as much screen-time in close-ups as do most of the other characters.

Jokes aside, Volver is rich in subtext, and constantly engaging.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress