Thirteenth

Volver by Pedro Almodóvar

Volver revolved around the lives of a family of women, Raimunda (played by Penelope Cruz), with her sister Sole (played by Lola Duenas), her daughter Agustina (played by Blanca Portillo), and their mother Irene (played by Carmen Maura) as they deal with everyday family issues and problems with a little side of murder and so called resurrection. The story was full of surprises and twists that were very ‘only there for the shock value’ sort of things in my opinion. Yet beyond that I truly enjoyed the film and the colorful world that it presented. What was so different from the other films that we watched for the class was how familial the themes of the movie were. It was also nice to have a very female centered empowering family oriented one at that. I also enjoyed the setting because it was different from the very cold and vast earthy environments that were used in the other films. The movie was set in a somewhat suburban and colorful environment which I enjoyed.

The plot though very dramatic with incest, murder, and arson were all quite heavy yet the movie’s tone was one that was light and simple to understand. At the end of the day what was important was the bond of these women and how they were able to rise up even with these issues setting aside their differences towards forgiveness. In a sense the movie was like ‘coming back’, returning to what once was that is familiar and safe. And what other way to feel this comfort than with your family? With women who have raised you to help inspire you to be who you are today. What was so interesting about this is that even with the family confessing all these things and having there mother somewhat come back from the dead, they do not seem to bother that much about and continue on. The love and respect I had for these women! They had to go through so much trauma and pain but they still stood up for themselves and took life by its balls and just went on! Raimunda got that restaurant even with having to suffer abuse from her father and her horrible husband. Irene got to confess to her daughters and be free from the guilt and be able to atone for the sins she committed.

Over all I really enjoyed this movie and the importance it gave to family. That we can be able to forgive and move on from the past to repair and create a better future with the people that we love. Although I wished there was more to the end other than the promise of Raimunda and Irene to fix their relationship but to actually see it happening would have been a very nice way to wrap everything up. In the end I highly recommend this movie for the plot and the great acting. Also especially with us Filipinos having a very high value on family and our relationships.

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