‘Talk to Her’ by Pedro Almodovar is unique film that explores the complexity of relationships, the power of talking and the barriers that lead us to believing that we are alone/single. Almodovar celebrates human emotion through praising passionate love and showing us that human relationships are a necessity to shaping the way we live and how we interact with each other.
The film begins within a theater, in which we see two blind women who have lost themselves and their identity in this world they live in. They move fitfully and dance beautifully across the stage,whilst being guided by men who stop them from hurting themselves. The walls these two women fall against are almost the barriers that are stopping them from seeing, they are trying to communicate and engage in their senses yet seem to fail to find their way through it all. These women parallel the characters of Alicia and Lydia who coincidentally happen to both be in a coma.
The film then focuses on two men who are watching this performance, Marco and Benigo. Marco is emotionally expressing himself, showing relief in the expectations of masculinity whilst Benigo is looking to Marco and wondering why exactly he is in tears. This film shows that crying is an emotion that confesses our deep desires and praises the thought of love however immoral we think of it.
We then separately learn about these two men, who cross paths through coincidence ( both of the women they know or differently love are in a coma in a private clinic). In this private clinic we learn of Benigo’s fantasy world he lives in, he swoons over the unconscious Alicia and dreams of marrying her. His non-consensual style of thinking leads him to a demise, the same way it leads Humbert,Humbert in Nabokov’s ‘Lolita”. As the audience we are left feeling a sympathy towards his actions, his motive to connect with her leads to Alicia’s rape, which is masked with a silent film.
Marco on the other hand is almost the hero of this tragedy, he acts in way that is unexpected within human nature – he doesn’t desert Benigo though he knows of the crime. Their brother-ship, moreover their love unites and seals negative thoughts against the situation. Marco learns the true meaning of loneliness in these stages as once Benigo commits suicide, (in his own selfish pursuit to be with Alicia who he doesn’t know has recently awoke from her coma due to his act). This again reinforces the need and reliance of love that Benigo held, he proves to be helpless in to his emotions.
However though Marco is left alone, it is almost like his identity has slowly become submerged with aspects of Benigo’s, this is because their close knit relationship leaves Marco able to understand himself and those around him. This is shown when he witnesses Alicia, he can’t believe through the same coincidence of meeting Benigo at this theater he has also managed to meet Alicia. Marco even feels a strong attraction to her, they are both drawn from the same stem (Benigo) which is Almodovar’s way of strangely showing the recurring theme of bond.
Overall the film is warming and at times disturbing, yet also shows that humanity is not perfect and has its flaws.