This month for my Blind Spot series I happened to pick a Spanish film without knowing I would be visiting Spain in July. Isn’t that a crazy coincidence? Anyway, I decided to look at Pedro Almodovar’s 2002 Academy Award winning film Talk to Her. It’s a moving, intriguing, weird film that definitely won’t be for everyone, but I’m glad I saw it.
It’s a pretty simple story about 2 men, Marco and Benigno who fall in love with strong women who end up in comas. They then care for the comatose women but it’s what Almodovar does with that basic story that makes it interesting.
On the surface what these men are doing is really quite lovely. They are caring selflessly for women in a coma. How can that be anything but good? Well, that’s where the line between love and obsession come in. Especially Benigno begins to fantasize what his life with Alicia is like and that she is responding to his advances. He imagines this fantasy existence and even says at one point that his relationship is better than most other married couples.
Marco has more of a backstory with his love Lydia who was a bullfighter and is injured in the rink. He is a very emotional man and often takes what others are feeling upon himself. This makes his responses to Alicia, Benigno and Lydia very interesting. Dario Grandinetti as Marco is the standout of the film. He’s a type of man you don’t often see in the movies- sensitive to a fault.
The cool thing that Almodovar does is he never really judges either men. You can tell he feels sorry for all involved. They are all weak- whether it is a weak mind or body, and human weakness is sad for Almodovar. Benigno takes his obsession to a disturbing place and it just shows how the human brain can create false narratives to justify our own poor choices.
Talk to Her is definitely not for everyone. There is nudity in the film but most of it is non-sensual while the women’s bodies are being cared for. However, there is a fantasy sequence involving a silent movie that is truly bizarre. I can’t really explain it but just know it is out there and is explicit! It was too much for me to be honest but it was brief.
If you want to watch a film showing a unique side of masculinity and can handle something that is different I recommend watching Talk to Her. It earns its R rating but it is a thoughtful unique depiction of that line between love and obsession.
I feel like a movie such as this would never win best screenplay now. What do you think?
Overall Grade- B+
Here is the trailer