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Talk To Her

The steady march of time

The latest effort by Oscar-winning filmmaker Pedro Almodovar (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!; All About My Mother) is a complex examination of human relationships, and more specifically, interpersonal communication and loneliness. Talk to Her begins with a play, a powerful and emotionally-charged play. The camera finds two men in the audience, randomly sitting next to one another. One of the men, later revealed to be Marco, is openly weeping, moved by the beauty and sadness of the performance. The other man, Benigno, notices the tears and he himself looks very moved by the play.

Marco turns out to be a writer, and he decides to try and interview the famous female bullfighter Lydia. Lydia's on the heels of a nasty breakup with a hotshot bullfighter named El Nino. The interview turns into a relationship, and we leave them for the time being.

Next we find ourselves back with Benigno. He's a nurse at El Bosque, a private clinic. His job is to take care of the comatose Alicia, a young ballerina who's been in that vegetative state for several years. Benigno cannot conceal his adoration of young Alicia, and he is constantly telling her stories and talking to her. The relationship is strange, but doesn't seem to border on sexual, despite the fact that Benigno often needs to undress the girl for bathing and general upkeep.

Marco and Lydia, meanwhile, have seen their relationship blossom into a full-time deal. The only problem is that Marco cries when he's reminded of his former love, a girl whose family has reclaimed her from him. "One of the worst things," says Marco, "is when someone is taken from you when love is still present." Still, Marco seems to move past his ex-flame and fall deeper into love with Lydia.

This is the point at which Lydia is horribly gored and ends up comatose in El Bosque. While engaged in his round-the-clock vigil for Lydia, Marco and Benigno run into each other again, and it's the start of a complex and therapeutic relationship for both of them. Time seems to stand still in the hospital, and Marco and Benigno are able to share their stories and ideals without the feeling of time moving along, aging.

Talk to Her is a film that asks important questions about relationships. As there are two people involved in every relationship, there are two inherently original ideas about what that relationship is, exactly. Thus, there are two distinct viewpoints as to the nature of the relationship.

Still with me?

Good. Take yourself now. Ask yourself: are there things you do, things that you believe are completely normal, that other people would consider abnormal or even crazy? In your mind, everything's cool, right? Here we have the central theme of the film: the power of a narrator in terms of defining rules and relationships. Talk to Her is an immensely moving film. Not in that tear-jerker sort of way, though. It's pure beauty, and it should be seen.


Talk to Her
Rated R
1 hour 56 minutes

Rosario Flores
Javier Camara
Dario Grandinetti
Leonor Watling
Roberto Alvarez