are few, if indeed any, filmmakers who can consistently combine
drama, tragedy, and comedy into thought-provoking, artistic films.
Pedro Almodovar certainly falls into this category and Talk To Her
is certainly characteristic of this nature of a movie. His
follow-up film to the terrific All About My Mother comes close to
matching the former in terms of emotional storytelling with some of
the most interesting characters you will ever see on film. And
this movie, just like every film by Almodovar, contains those weird
and wildly creative scenes that you will never see in other films.
are first introduced to Benigno who is a male nurse and who has been
spending most of his life caring for two bedridden women.
Caring for his mother for so many years without any kind of social
life or friendships has consumed Benigno's life up until the past
four years where he has been attending to a girl named Alicia, a
ballet student who has been in a coma during this time. His
all consuming compassion for Alicia is obvious thru his painstaking
care for her, as evidenced by constant body massages and talking to
her for every possible moment that he can.
Then we meet Marco who is a journalist that we see who has deep
emotional scars from a breakup with a previous lover. He is
assigned to do an interview with a controversial woman bullfighter
named Lydia. They soon begin a romance but things go terribly
wrong when Lydia is gored by a bull and is left in a coma. It
appears possibly that Lydia let the bull gore her on purpose which
leaves Marco filled with guilt and anguish over what has happened.
both Alicia and Lydia are in the same hospital with their comas,
Marco and Benigno soon meet and form a powerful, close-bond
friendship as both have the women they love in comas and possibly
who may never again regain conciseness. It becomes obvious
that Benigno is a troubled, if not downright disturbed, individual
and he commits an act which lands him in prison. And while
emotionally scarred, Marco is still a rational person and tries his
best to help Benigno and keep him informed of how Alicia is doing.
And of course at the same time, he is totally consumed and worried
Talk To Her is a unique film because it is a rare one where instead
of women, two men are doing a lot of deep and meaningful talking to
one another. And while Benigno is obsessed with Alicia, he is
obviously unsure about his own sexuality and his attraction to Marco
may or may not be more than friendship. Some of the clues
about Benigno's character are told in flashback, such as a scene
showing him spying on Alicia from his window while she is dancing in
the ballet studio across the street. And to show the
importance that Benigno has in trying to understand women and to get
inside their psyches, a silent film is shown on-screen and
described by Benigno, in only the imaginative way that Almodovar can
create. This scene will make some people gasp, some people laugh,
and some people moved by what it represents.
acting all around is nothing less than brilliant. Even Alicia
who spends most of her time on-screen in a coma is remarkably
beautiful and mesmerizing while she lays on her bed in constant
sleep. Both the two male leads are terrific and give real and
powerful performances. Cámara as Benigno plays a creepy and
disturbed individual, but at the same time he makes the audience
feel sorry for him. Grandinetti effectively shows a man who is
on the surface a smart and rational person, but who underneath is
filled with pain.
Everything about this film is right. From the dancing and
ballet sequences to the scenes of bullfighting, every detail seems
to be just right to bring a sense of realism to these strange events
filled with tragedy. But don't let me infer that this movie is
a real downer. Almodovar puts in enough of his unique and
off-beat humor into the drama that unfolds to make the audience
often laugh. And the film has some uplifting moments so that
you will not walk out of the theatre down and depressed.
really liked this film and strongly recommend it. And while
All About My Mother might a more rich and powerful film, Talk To Her
is not very far behind it.
you like moving dramatic films which are filled with interesting
characters and containing highly original artistic scenes and
moments, then this film is not to be missed.