Wednesday, 28 February 2007


Pedro Almodovar's latest film, Volver, features Penelope Cruz as a strong, determined woman coping in defiance of her circumstances. The Spanish verb 'volver' translates as 'to return', and what returns here is a cycle of male abuse and female retaliation passed from one generation to the next.

I wonder if it was really necessary for the events to be so completely circular. We already accept Cruz's character as empowered and resilient without the slightly cliched final revelation. Chinatown presented a similar plot point in a much more dramatic manner.

If not as profound as the devastating Talk To Her, Volver is still a moving portrait of female bonding, with a genuine sense of community spirit replacing the sexual comedy of much of Almodovar's earlier work.

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