As a mandate every week, in keeping up with some of the content from across the globe, I decided to watch and review the Spanish film Parallel Mothers. Again one of those films which was in my watchlist for a long time and was hearing many good things about the film. Starring Penelope Cruz who is one of my favourite actors globally, I finished watching Parallel Mothers last night. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Parallel Mothers follows the story of two mothers who form an unlikely bond after delivering babies on the same day. The story has a gentle touch to it yet it is profounding powerful and engaging. The screenplay mixes drama with a touch of history(as a side plot). Standing at a little over two hours, the drama is taut and unfolds at a good pace. So almost in the third scene, the main plot begins where the two mothers are at the hospital delivering their babies. The gentleness in the screenplay lies in the relationships between characters. The insecurity and vulnerability along with a sense of loneliness is very well explored in this film. The genuinely complex emotions are tapped in the simplest of manner in this screenplay. The twist in the tale is predictable but you are curious to know what would follow it. The bit of history featuring the great grandfather of the protagonist is nicely integrated in the drama. There are moments which is deftly emotional and engaging at the same time which will keep you hooked throughout. The drama ends on a satisfying final act which leaves you with a bittersweet feeling. Overall, a nicely penned screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational yet they do not get too melodramatic. The BGM is quite subtle and doesn’t overpower the drama. The colour grading is excellent here with the use of nice and bright colours that add to the vibe of the film. Director Pedro Almodovar does a brilliant job in handling complex emotions with finesse thereby holding your attention throughout.
The performance are quite natural here. Aitana Sanchez-Gijon as Teresa shines brilliantly in a wonderfully conflicted character. Israel Elejalde as Arturo has a lovely persona onscreen and he lends good support to the drama. Milena Smit as Ana is quite brilliant in quite a layered role which deals with insecurity and loneliness, something that you sympathize with as the drama unfolds. Penelope Cruz as Janis looks like a million bucks and delivers a fabulously heartfelt performance that stays with you long after the film is over.
Parallel Mothers is a gently powerful film which is low on melodrama but high on emotions. The film will have a theatrical release in India this weekend(11th March) and this film comes with my highest recommendation.