Talk To Her
A movie by Pedro Almodóvar
With Javier Cámera (Benigno), Darío Grandinetti (Marco), Leonor Watling (Alicia), Rosario Flores (Lydia)
A truly great movie, full of great emotions and deep melancholy. Those are not my words but what I was told about it. Add to this the image of two comatose women. Sounds interesting, I thought. Though Almodóvar is a director I'm often at odds with, I was willing to give him another chance.
Talk to Her is a very bizarre movie, both original and entertaining. I wouldn't try to overanalyse it and say it contains many metaphors and emotions, in my opinion it is rather full of black humour.
Marco falls in love with Torera Lidia (the latter not only a first name in Spanish but also a word for "fight"), when she gives her current boyfriend the boot. Then she gets impaled in a bullfight and falls into a coma (and in the end she dies).
The slightly dumb and vain Benigno (masterfully played by Javier Cámera) falls in love with beautiful ballet dancer Alicia who, however, turns him down, slightly disgusted. A car runs her over and she falls into a coma, too, causing allegedly gay male nurse Benigno (meaning the good-natured) to be in heaven because his dream woman is now all his.
The two men meet in the hospital and become friends. Marco has problems approaching his comatose girlfriend, while Benigno acts as though he and Alicia were having a real relationship. That's why he tells Marco to "talk to her". He is talking to Alicia all the time and affectionately takes care of her body until he ends up making love to her, resulting in her becoming pregnant. When this comes to light, Benigno is sent to prison. He doesn't mind too much, the only thing he doesn't like about it is his being separated from Alicia whom he would have liked to marry.
In the meantime, Marco passes his time as a travel journalist because Lidia's fervent boyfriend has turned up again and is claiming her for himself. This is a good thing, because Lidia dies anyway, and living Toreros are a repulsive thing. Several bulls were actually killed in the process of making this movie, which doesn't add to its appeal.
At some point, Benigno contacts Marco because he can't stand being separated from Alicia any longer. Marco finds out that Alica miscarried and regained consciousness in the process. But before he can inform Benigno of this happy event, Benigno commits suicide.
In the end Alicia and Marco become a couple – who would have expected anything else? The way Benigno's imaginary world is shown in the movie makes it likable and worth watching.
Something that made me uncomfortable was the fact that Alicia was brought back to life by having sex with a man she rejected in real life. I thought it was disgusting to watch this unconscious woman having sex without consenting, even if Benigno didn't have any vile motives. For this reason, I wouldn't say Talk to Her is a great movie.
Last changes: 22/08/04
Copyright 2004 Books & Movies