Reviewed by: Rev. Grant Wright
|Featuring:||Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo|
|Producer:||Agustin Almodovar, Esther Garcia, Esther García|
|Distributor:||Sony Pictures Classics|
Actress Penélope Cruz was nominated for an Academy award for best “Performance by an actress in a leading role” for her part in this film.
“Volver” (or translated “The Return”) is a beautiful film by Pedro Almodóvar. For the story to be dealing with murder, abuse, guilt and abandonment, this film does a remarkable job of being light hearted and positive. I could not help but feel this was more of a foreign version of a chick flick without the love story. It is however, family and friendship that matters in “Volver,” making for an enjoyable viewing experience.
A dead man in a restaurant freezer, a ghost living with a sister and revelations about sexual abuse do make for an interesting movie, even though I felt there was not a great deal of depth to the story itself. The strength of the film is the character development and the bonds that tie a group of women together through thick and thin. Primarily, this is a film of survival, with three generations of women all having to cope with separate accounts of abuse. Focusing on Raimunda (Penélope Cruz), we are taken on a slightly emotional ride on how she and her family members have (and will) overcome tragedy. I feel if I tell any more I will be ruining any twists that this film may give.
I did not find this film extremely offensive, except Raimunda’s husband’s perverseness that leads to a scene where you know he is masturbating and the occasional conversation being a little crude.
Obviously, as a Christian I don’t believe murder was the solution for the abusive situations, and the film does tend to justify this action as a means to an end. However, I could not overlook the commitment and love shown especially by the ghost mother to the sick and ailing. This was a good visual image to me of Jesus’ commands to us to “heal the sick” (Matt. 10:8); commends those who provide care (Matt. 25:31-40); and urges Christians to share in his ministry of healing and compassion (Mark 6:12-13). Volver finishes with an air of hope, it just does not compare to the hope we as Christians have for our sins have been paid for by our redeemer Jesus Christ.
I would recommend this movie to women of 16 years and above.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.