This kind of stylistically slippery script demands extremely strong performances from the cast, and Almodovar couldn’t have asked for a better lead than Pénelope Cruz. Cruz has always been a passionate actress, but never has she attacked a role with so much guile or gusto. Like the movie itself, her Raimunda is a hundred things at once and changeable as the weather. At times weak, then strong; angry, then happy; comforting then callous, but always vividly alive and utterly believable, Raimunda is the beating heart on whose blood the movie lives.
Yet Cruz never overshadows her fellow cast members, all of whom occupy their own niches in Almodovar’s tapestry of womanhood. Lola Dueñas is endearing as Raimunda’s gawky younger sister Sole, and veteran actress Carmen Maura is at her quirky, captivating best as their dead mother. Maura has a long history of collaboration with Almodovar, and even appeared in his very first film, Pepi, Luci, Bom. One of the allusions of the title is certainly Maura’s “return” to Almodovar’s films.
Despite it’s pedigree Volver is an easy movie to underestimate. On the surface it reads as a slightly seedy melodrama with some chuckles thrown in to lighten things up. But it’s the kind of movie that stays with you after you leave the theatre, and changes each time you think about it. Beneath the air-headed exterior is a rich and complex human drama, full of startling observations.
And yet it’s also the kind of film that a casual theatregoer with no prior knowledge of Almodovar can enjoy. This is no obscure, foreign art film – this is a vivid, funny, affectionate slice of life that can be gobbled down with relish. So take a bite of Volver this weekend, you might just enjoy the flavour.
- Alistair Fairweather
The only thing more complex and luminous than Volver is its leading lady. This is Pedro Almodovar at his delicious best.
Just another typical Tom Cruise action film, with nothing to get too excited about. The film is loaded with action-film stereotypes and cheesy one-liners. Read More »
Add your review
Hands of Stone is a bland, unlikable portrayal of a real-life boxer that struggles to hit the highs of Rocky IV let alone Raging Bull or the original Rocky. Mark this one down as “for boxing fanatics only”. Read More »
Add your review
South AfricaCity Press
Johannesburg CBDResourcing Solutions
HousesR 4 800 000
HousesR 6 850 000
HousesR 4 950 000