Volver (2006)

 

 I do so like finding different posters than the ones I'm used to seeing.
I do so like finding different posters than the ones I'm used to seeing.

Genre: Drama (Spain)

Starring: Penélope Cruz (Captain Corelli's Mandolin Blow), Carmen Maura (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown La comunidad)

Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar (All About My Mother Bad Education)

Overview: A family tries to cope with the recent loss of their mother, but it seems that mother has some unfinished business.

Volver means 'return' in Spanish and the overall theme of Pedro Almodóvar's film is exactly that. Two sisters, Raimunda and Sole, return to the village of their birth to visit family graves and their elderly aunt Paula who suffers from Alzheimer's. During their visit, Paula speaks to her nieces about how much help their mother Irene has been. The village is one that is rather superstitious, believing strongly in ghosts, and even some townsfolk whisper rumours that they've seen the now-buried Irene in Paula's window. Raimunda and her sister Sole take it with a hefty grain of salt, returning to their own lives. Raimunda's husband has just lost his job and their blossoming teen daughter is having her own troubles with him. Sole, on the other hand, has quite an unexpected visitor, her mother, Irene.
 
Most of Volver does not revolve around the appearance of Irene, which is nice, because I actually found that I disliked the whole 'Ghost Mom' plot. For the rest of us, there's several other storylines, mainly following Raimunda. Her sneaky new business venture and the drama with her husband and daughter make for an enticing almost-Thriller.
 
Storylines change and evolve outside of the predictable and Volver stays far away from your typical ghost story. In short I found Volver to be an enjoyable, innocuous film graced with the talent of Penelope Cruz and the obvious directorial skill of Pedro Almodóvar easily made up for the single plot element I disliked. Still, I can equally understand why this didn't make the cut through to the current edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
 
Quick, spot the ghost!
Quick, spot the ghost!
 

Performance: 8 Cinematography: 8 Script: 7 Plot: 6 Mood: 7

Overall Rating: 72% (Sometimes One Visit Is Enough)
Aftertaste:

Those of you willing to face the spoiler can see what my major issue with Volver was, but because there were so many other stories happening in the movie, it was easy to appreciate the other aspects of this tale.

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