09 October 2011

Film Review: Hable con Ella (Talk to Her)

Hola! ¿cómo estás? Me llamo Rah, tengo 28 anos, vivo en Quezon City. Me gusta ir a cine y me gusta sacar fotos. (Hi, how are you? I'm Rah, 28, lives and QC. I like watching movies and taking pictures.)

So much for my Spanish.

To be honest, I was never really good at it anyway. I almost failed it back in college.

I have forgotten most of what I have learned in Spanish back then, but I can still vividly remember the movie "Hable con Ella" -- the Spanish movie our professor made us to watch to conclude the last day of classes. It was the first foreign language film that I've seen. It was what gave birth to my fascination with foreign language films.

Hable con Ella is a story of Benigno (a male nurse) and Alicia (a comatose patient). Benigno (translated as benign or harmless in English)  has always been attracted to Alicia's grace and beauty. Even before the accident that caused her coma, Benigno would wait for her everyday in her dance classes (overlooking his window) and simply admired her in every way.

One day, Alicia met an accident that led to her state of vegetative coma. She was confined to the hospital where Benigno was a nurse.  Benigno would always talk to the comatosed Alicia, give her massages, baths, did her nails and hair. He gave her all the love and care in the world. Throughout the four years that Benigno had been taking care of the comatosed Alicia, his obsession with her grew more intensely. There's no doubt in his mind that Alica loved him too. Benigno wanted to marry her and had even prepared the house where they would stay.

Along the story, Benigno meets Marco, a guy similarly situated with him. Marco was also taking care of his girlfriend Lydia who was also in a coma. He would seek Benigno's help and advice. Their profound conversations would develop in deep friendship and trust, which was further complexed by Benigno's seemingly, strange, subtle, naive attraction to Marco.

One day, the hospital doctors found out that the (comatose patient) Alicia was pregnant. Benigno, as a prime suspect for rape, was charged with and was jailed pending his case. But Benigno couldn't stand being away from Alicia. He will do all that it takes to be with Alicia again. His subsequent decisions - will define the outcome of the story.

Looking closer at Benigno's character, it is noticeable that he is naive and unsure of himself. Viewers will find it easy to relate with his character - he's just like most of us - naive, unsure. The film's telling flashbacks, symbolisms, and back stories (not to mention the nude scenes) will make you want to stay in your chair as long as the movie takes. The scenes are artistic and very well thought of. 

The film is also very unique as it engages us to ponder on the notion and concept of love. "Is it right to believe that love can persist beyond the realm of consciousness?" This is one of the main questions that the film is trying to convey.

Starring: Javier Camara, Dario Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Rosario Flores, Mariola Fuentes, Geraldine Chaplin, and written, produced, and directed by Pedro Almodovar. The film won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the 2003 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, among others.

Here's the official trailer. I hope you get the chance to watch it somehow. 


Perhaps one of the best foreign language movies I've ever watched. I wouldn't mind watching it again. It's a movie that's hard to forget. 


sterndal said...

so sino ni-rape nya talaga yung babaeong comatosed? interesting. download ko torrents


khantotantra said...

mukhang maganda tong movie... hahahah, iba to sa mga asian film.... espanyoles. wahahaha.

kung hindi mo sinabi age mo, akala ko base sa pic, around 25 ka lang. hahhaha. nakakalinlang pics mo. :D

btw, about kay capsule, di ko sya nailabas ng bag nung nag sg. :D

Anonymous said...

im sure marami ka pang napanuod na foreign films after neto bro. mas ok talaga at mas thought-provoking ang mga indie kesa sa mainstream media.

besides, mahilig talaga tayo jan...sa mga "art" films. (wink!)

gillboard said...

interesting story. medyo disturbing, but you'd still be interested kung ano mangyayari.

sweet pea said...

i watched this movie...sobrang disturbed ako. ung madaming questions pumapasok sa utak ko...he was sweet and creepy at the same time..d makaklimutan...

for me, it was disturbing. not good for innocent minds. hehe

as a film maganda. as a story. medyo na creeped out lang ako, hehe

Ash-di said...

Muy bien movie. Gusto ko sya mapanood! Bakit may maliit na tao? I'm sori I'm slow. Haha

rah said...

@Khant, hehe thanks, buti nalang hindi pa ako mukhang matanda.

@ Ash-di, Alicia is fond of watching old movie kasi. Benigno was telling the comatose Alicia about the silent film na napanood niya. That silent film, will influence his decisions in the movie later on :)

@cmus, oo nga, wala talagang tatalo sa "artfilm." Actually, kahit hindi artfilm basta movie na may chicks na maganda na walang damit... hehe

@sweetpea, sa tingin ko isa yon sa mga purpose ng film eh. Ichallenge you standard ng morality. Most of artfilms are distrubing talaga.

@gillboard, try to dl it sa torrent. Ok talaga siya.

pusang kalye said...

"Is it right to believe that love can persist beyond the realm of consciousness?"---lalim.hmmm.I think so. love is very powerful.more powerful than anything in the world.and it exists, even beyond consciousness.:D