by guest writer
Volver marks another great collaboration between Pedro Almodóvar and his leading lady, Penélope Cruz. From the very start we notice that this film is about women, a revolving theme in the director’s filmography, and the complicated relationships between them, as we find here with three generations of women. The opening shot shows us a windswept graveyard in La Mancha region, a symbolic use of this image leading us to think of the unrest in the townsfolk’s hearts.
Raimunda (Cruz) and Sole (Lola Dueñas) are two sisters confronted with different problems of their own after the passing of their mother (Carmen Maura). Suddenly, Sole starts to have visions of her mother returning from the dead. Clearly, the use of surrealist motives are filling up a movie that is rich in colour, drama and subtle humour. Raimunda has lots of troubles of her own, which are slowly unfolding, with an ease that has become an Almodovar technique. Penelope is wonderful in the role of the hard working woman who tries to get a hold of her life and help the other women in her life who all seem to need her desperately at one point or another. A simple woman at first sight, she’s anything but, managing to transform her character into an exploration of human emotion. An artful exploration of human life, Volver opened in Cannes in 2006 to win the best screenplay award at the festival.
photo: still from the film