The story of two men who worship two women, both of whom are in a coma. A tragicomic journey into loneliness, where one of the men urges the other to communicate with his beloved, to "talk to her", just as he is doing. The life of these four characters flows in all directions, past, present and future, leading all of them to an unexpected destiny.
The film begins with a performance from the modern dance artist Pina Bausch. In the audience Benigno (Javier Camara) notices that the man sitting next to him is crying. He's Marco (Dario Grandinetti), a journalist who fell in love with the beautiful matador Lydia (Rosario Flores) when he went to interview her. She was gored by a bull before she could tell him something important and now lies in hospital in a coma. The two men actually meet at the hospital where Benigno is a nurse, caring for Alicia (Leonor Watling), who is comatose as the result of a car accident. Benigno's sexuality is ambivalent, but there's no doubting his love for Alicia who used to be a dancer. The two men become friends, linked by their love for these two women.
At the heart of this film is a rape which will have both tragic and redemptive consequences and it's typical of Almodovar that he romanticises this act by depicting it in a silent film called The Shrinking Lover which is funny and shocking and yet, poignant. This provocative, talented filmmaker is maturing magnificently – is it possible to just keep making better and better films Almodovar's done just that, for me Talk To Her surpasses his wonderful All About My Mother. He's always a great stylist but with this film he's balanced all the ingredients, Javier Aguirresarobe's cinematography, Alberto Iglesias' heartbreaking music, Antxon Gomez' design plus outstanding performances – to perfection. Talk To Her is a masterpiece.
Comments from David Stratton: A very fine film from Almodovar in which he explores with almost total confidence the feminine sides of two men who find themselves carers for women they love. Complex and very rich, with great performances and a fabulous music score, the film is wholly satisfying except for the silent movie sequence which didn't work at all for me.
Watch 'Talk To Her'
Tuesday 12 October, 9:30pm on SBS World Movies / Now streaming at SBS On Demand
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Starring: Rosario Flores, Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling