A film that I found to be interesting and entertaining was Volver (2006) by Pedro Almodovar. Almodovar is a director that received acclimates of being a very distinct auteur very early in his career. Almodovar’s style and influences are prominent all throughout Volver. I will be discussing Volver and how it has become a typical icon film of Almodovar’s work. Many of Almodovar’s film are reflective of his upbringing. Almodovar said, “You can say my films are melodramas, tragicomedies, comedies or whatever because I used to put everything together and even change genre within the same sequence and very quickly” (Kinder 37). Typically his films have very distinct aspects in them that vary and is what makes an Almodovar film. Almodovar films are very distinct and they are commonly talked about as being “typical Almodovar films” because his themes are expected and are always true to his style.
Almodovar started off his career in 1974 he is one of the most successful and internationally now Spanish filmmaker. His films are filled with complex narratives and a very melodramatic. Almodovar typically uses popular culture and popular songs throughout his film. In addition, Almodovar’s films are marked with humor even when it is unexpected. Some of the themes that Almodovar uses are desire, passion, family, family issues, extremes, identity, and sex. One distinct theme of Almodovar’s films is that he was very influenced by old Hollywood movies. One way that this is very apparent is that Almodovar typically center the plot of the film on a central female character in most of his films, typically a very troubled female.
Furthermore Almodovar’s experiences as he was growing up have played a large role in most of his films. Almodovar films are constantly filled with issues of sexuality and he is not afraid to break into the world of the sexually promiscuous. One of the reasons that I feel that Almodovar is as open with sexuality is because Almodovar is a gay man. Almodovar’s everyday experiences play a large influence in what he produces on film. Although in Volver themes of homosexuality or transgender are not as prevalent as his other films we still see sexuality play a large part in Volver. For example the main character in Volver Raimunda (Penelope Cruz) has a daughter whose name is Paula. In Volver Paula is almost raped by her drunker father Paco after he approaches her and reveals to her that he is not her biological father. Paula ends up stabbing Paco is self defense and when Raimunda comes home it is up to her to dispose of Paco’s body. In addition, when Raimunda goes to bury Paco’s body who she has hidden in the freezer of a abandoned restaurant she is taken care of, she pays a prostitute to help her dispose of the body. The same prostitute later becomes Raimunda’s helper when she begins to cater to a film crew in the abandoned restaurant. Almodovar is not afraid of taking characters and themes that have often been marginalized and give them a central role.
Furthermore a theme of the dead over the living which is also very common with Almodovar is prominent in Volver. During the opening scene we see dozens of women attentively scrubbing the graves of their deceased relatives which already show the importance of the dead over the living in Volver. The film follows the lives of Raimunda and her sister Sole who grew up in La Mancha which is an area that is native to Almodovar. Death plays a large part in Volver. In Volver Raimunda’s and Sole’s mother comes back as a ghost to the girls lives, the mother was presumed to have died in a fire with the girl’s Father three years ago. As the plot develops the truth is slowly revealed. The ghost of Irene lives with Sole and becomes a central part of the plot. Although this is not the only time that death takes in Volver. Another very important part of the plot is when Raimunda’s daughter kills her stepfather father because he wants to rape her. Raimunda decides to take full...
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