Directed by Pedro Almodovar
From 26th August 2016
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
This is a highly impressive film by renowned director Pedro Almodovar. It is a powerful and complex depiction of a mother/daughter relationship, with symbolism being very much to the fore.
The opening shot of a billowing red dress (you don’t know this until the camera pans away) worn by the middle-aged Julieta, played by Emma Saurez, sets a precedent for beguiling cinematography by Jean-Claude Larrieu. The colours are particularly vivid, being rich and lustrous.
Almodovar, who also wrote the script, highly effectively mixes in supernatural suspense, the inclusion of classic film noir, some similar to the masterworks of Alfred Hitchcock, notably in the train scene. The stag running in snow alongside the moving train is memorable.
The music score by Alberto Iglesias lends an important extra dimension to an already brooding atmosphere.
In short a mother and daughter become estranged in peculiar circumstances.
After a long absence the older Julieta accidentally bumps into an old friend of her daughter Antia and reawakens her quest to find her. She delves back into her own anguished past as a means to comprehend what led to their separation.
The film then leaps back in time to when Julieta was in her early 20s, played by the enchanting Adriana Ugarte, and sees her meet up with the future father of Antia.
Guilt envelops her life both when young and older. It is like she is trapped within a cloak of self remorse.
The movie is based on a trio of Alice Munro short stories.