Posted by Sean van der Heijden
As many of you know, we have been without a movie theater since last February, when the Regal Cinemas in Wilton closed down. Well, that's all about to change. The Bow Tie Cinemas just off of Church St. that's been under construction for some time now is finally opening on Oct. 17. Until then, I'll be reviewing random movies-warningI have no method to this. Hopefully I can expose you to some pretty good films, though, so here we go:
First up is Talk to Her, written and directed by Spanish auteur Pedro Almod??var. Easily one of Spain's greatest filmmakers, Almod??var actually won an Oscar for this original screenplay back in 2003, but I'd wager the film has remained largely unseen by the general public.
Without giving too much away, Talk to Her is about a peculiar friendship that forms between two men as they care for two women who are both in a coma. Slightly surreal, wildly creative, and hauntingly beautiful, this film is certainly not for everyone, but I was entranced the entire time. The dialogue is also fantastic-at least in Spanish, but it's well worth reading the subtitles for as well.
On the performance side of things, both the male leads-Javier C??mara and Dar??o Grandinetti-are convincingly normal, yet subtly emotional. By that I mean there's nothing particularly special about their characters, but it's how they handle the situations they are thrown into that's truly interesting. As for the two women, portrayed by Leonor Waiting and Rosario Flores, they both manage to give incredibly powerful performances despite being unconscious for a large majority of the film.
And no, I did not just give away the ending. The story is told partly in flashbacks, and that's what is so brilliant about it. We get to see how the two men met their respective women, their troublesome and complex relationships that follow, and the women's inevitable comas, all the while seeing how the men are dealing with the aftermath of the whole situation. Screen legend Geraldine Chaplin also has a small but pivotal role that she pulls off with perfection.
On one last note, this film is also an amazing portrait of contemporary Spanish life. Set mainly in Madrid, I was completely immersed into the culture within the first 15 minutes, which is no small feat. The beautiful, classically Spanish score by Alberto Iglesias definitely helps with that, too, as well as the soft, romantic lighting used throughout by cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe.
Talk to Her is a fascinating character study that ends so ingeniously that it's no wonder Almod??var won an Oscar for his script. I highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for something, well, a little different-because it is different by all accounts of the word, but still a imaginative and mesmerizing story all the way through.