The world revolves around the lives of women in Spanish director Pedro Almodόvar’s latest film, Volver (2006). It is a wonderful depiction of survival, loyalty, and integrity yet the action on the screen bears little resemblance to what is really going on in the lives, hearts, and heads of the women.
Almodόvar demonstrates once again (as he did in the film All About My Mother) that he truly understands the dual nature of women. He understands that women often have their external life, one that is busy and complex, but it is in their interior life (often very different than what is seen by others) where the core of her being dwells. His female characters are smart, fallible, sophisticated, genuine, and complex, perhaps some of the most complex female characters ever represented in film.
Volver is a relational film though perhaps few women can relate to the circumstances Penélope Cruz finds herself in but it isn’t to the situation that we can relate but rather who her character, Raimunda, is.
A beautiful, fun (in a strange way) film, one to share with your girlfriends.
This film reminded me of a quote by Edith Wharton:
"But I have sometimes thought that a woman's nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing- room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes."*
*The Fullness of Life, part II (1893) Early Stories of Edith Wharton, vol. 2.
About the author: Allison Frederick is a writer and online marketing educator for other creative women. www.FaMissWomen.com offers free Web 2.0 resources. She is also the author of an upcoming novel, A Portrait of Josephine, an academic-lite thriller. Find out how to receive a free copy of the novel by visiting www.portraitofjosephine.com