Directed by Pedro Almodovar, Volver, is
about Raimunda (Almodovar mainstay, Penelope Cruz), a mother living in
Madrid with a difficult life. Working as a cleaner during the day, a
dutiful mother and wife of an uncaring, perverted husband by night, her
life is about to change. After the death of her Aunt, the ghost of her
dead mother (played by another Almodovar stalwart, Carmen Maura) appears
to Raimunda's ditsy sister (Lola Dueñas) and old painful secrets are to
emerge, secrets that require a strong woman to withstand.
Almodovar's films always centre around
strong female leads and with this film, Cruz utilises this most powerful
role with such acting range as to demonstrate why she is one of Spain's
best actresses, if not the world. Her portrayal of Raimunda tugs at the
heartstrings, in a deftly written screenplay written by Almodovar.
Almodovar himself describes this as one of his most personal films - The
primary location being Almodovar's Madrid , the second location none
other than his home region of La Mancha.
The film is generous in allowing us to peek
into this most private of worlds, knowing that the kind of things dealt
with in this film are almost always kept private. Almodovar shows his
Spain with glorious colour in not only Madrid but La Mancha - his use of
colour accentuated by the great detail allowed in the blu ray. We also
experience the friendliness and warmth of the Spanish people, their
idiosyncrasies, their mannerisms and it can only mean one thing - We are
experiencing Spain and we love it.
Volver means "to return" and Almodovar, with this film, has certainly
returned to his best. The review copy of the blu ray, with great detail
and clarity in the transfer and with a DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD
soundtrack is only let down by its lack of features. Highly recommended.