27 February 2007


Despite our incredibly busy schedule as the second term is coming to a close, we still had time to see Volver, a Spanish film by Pedro Almodovar.

It's definitely less difficult to understand than Hable con ella and Mala educacion, but, compared to other films by other directors, the film is still action-packed and full of intense emotions. The film centres on Raimunda (Penelope Cruz) and her struggle with her family and her past. I think the film has an overt feminist overtone, as it shows how women survive (both as an individual and as a collective group) in the society where men are all shit. I do mean it, as I think every male character in this film, from Raimunda's father to Raimunda's husband, is a purely shitty moron, who thinks of nothing but sex. Volver (a Spanish word meaning 'to return' or 'to come back') may suggest how an atrocious event in the past keeps happening and women keep tolerating and fighting against this fate.

If there's one thing I don't like about the film is how stereotypical this sexual injustice is. All women are good and all men are evil. We're well into the twenty-first century, but Almodovar still milks money from this rather jaded theme. Owing to this stereotyping, the shock at the end of the film (of course, I'm not going to tell you) sadly loses its powerful effect. I just yawned and thought 'so what' ... well life goes on, innumerable women in the cinema have tolerated the same plight, as if a majority of women had undergone the same experience. For the same shock, I'd rather admire Jocelyn Moorhouse's A Thousand Acres, which portrays the similar event in a powerfully emotional manner.