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Pedro Almodovar’s films tend to swing wildly between comedy/farce and melodrama/tragedy. Volver somehow hits the sweet spot right in the middle of all four genres, with an added dose of magical realism. It’s a total joy to watch, which is really saying something since the story touches on murder, adultery, incest, malignant tumors, ghosts, and Penelope Cruz’s derriere. But maybe that’s the magic of Almodovar’s films? He’s able to take dark themes and surround them with bright colors, warm characters, and screwball humor—and really, is there anything better than that?
One of Almodovar’s masterpiece works. Penelope Cruz’s performance is a real tour de force in this drama. LIttle details like the use of regional language, the pattern on Cruz’s dress, the way the women who are friends kiss each other on the cheeks, always 3 times makes the darkness of the plot feel less heavy, more natural. As he does in most movies, Almodovar tells a compelling story in this film, with flaved characters, in moments of struggle, with unmatched complexity and no conceitedness. Highly recommended.