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    Parallel Mothers Movie Review: Penelope Cruz Is Exceptional In Pedro Almodóvar’s Brutal, Yet Joyful World

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    bredcrumb bredcrumb
    Reviews

    oi-Sanyukta Thakare

    |


    Rating:


    4.0
    /5


    Star
    Cast:

    Penélope
    Cruz,
    Milena
    Smit,
    Israel
    Elejalde,
    Aitana
    Sánchez-Gijón,
    Rossy
    de
    Palma


    Director:

    Pedro
    Almodóvar


    Available
    In

    Theatres

    Duration:

    120
    Minutes

    Language:

    Spanish


    Plot:

    The
    film
    follows
    two
    single
    women
    who
    meet
    in
    a
    hospital
    room,
    both
    about
    to
    give
    birth.
    Janis
    is
    middle-aged
    and
    doesn’t
    regret
    the
    decision
    while
    the
    other,
    Ana
    is
    a
    scared
    adolescent.
    The
    two
    women
    form
    a
    strong
    bond
    with
    one
    another
    as
    they
    both
    confront
    motherhood
    and
    overcome
    several
    difficulties
    together,
    as
    their
    joy
    and
    world’s
    brutality
    runs
    parallel.

     Penelope Cruz, Pedro Almodovar,


    Review:

    Pedro
    Almodóvar’s
    film

    Parallel
    Mothers

    explores
    Spain’s
    history
    of
    the
    Spanish
    Civil
    War
    and
    its
    impact
    and
    some
    lack
    of
    impact
    in
    today’s
    time.
    The
    title
    itself
    may
    have
    nothing
    to
    do
    with
    the
    film’s
    setting
    but
    it
    does
    provide
    a
    critic
    into
    its
    characters,
    Ana,
    Janis,
    Terresa
    and
    other
    mothers,
    who
    spent
    years
    hoping
    to
    uncover
    the
    truth
    behind
    unmarked
    graves
    in
    their
    villages
    and
    find
    their
    love
    and
    lost
    family
    members.

    Parallel
    Mothers
    follows
    stylish
    photographer
    Janis
    at
    a
    photo
    shoot
    with
    renowned
    forensic
    archaeologist
    Arturo.
    The
    two
    who
    hit
    it
    off
    instantly,
    also
    have
    another
    reason
    to
    cross
    paths.
    Janis
    asks
    him
    if
    his
    foundation
    will
    help
    excavate
    a
    mass
    grave
    in
    her
    home
    village.
    She
    believes
    that
    at
    the
    site,
    among
    other
    men
    from
    the
    village
    her
    great-grandfather
    was
    also
    killed
    and
    buried
    during
    the
    Spanish
    Civil
    War.
    Arturo
    agrees
    to
    review
    the
    case
    with
    his
    foundation
    but
    it
    may
    take
    years.

    As
    they
    spend
    time
    together
    Arturo
    and
    Janis
    get
    into
    a
    relationship
    of
    convenience,
    which
    ends
    when
    she
    finds
    out
    she
    is
    pregnant.
    Despite
    them
    parting
    ways
    Janis
    does
    not
    regret
    having
    the
    child.
    It
    is
    at
    the
    hospital
    during
    labour,
    she
    crosses
    paths
    with
    Ana,
    a
    scared
    adolescent
    giving
    birth
    with
    her
    mother
    by
    her
    side.
    Both
    being
    single
    mothers
    bond
    with
    the
    hopes
    and
    despair
    of
    motherhood,
    they
    exchange
    numbers
    and
    hope
    to
    keep
    in
    touch.

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    Months
    after
    giving
    birth,
    when
    Arturo
    sees
    his
    daughter
    Cecilia
    he
    is
    convinced
    the
    child
    isn’t
    his.
    Appalled
    by
    this
    accusation,
    Janis
    asks
    him
    to
    leave
    them
    alone
    but
    doubt
    seeps
    into
    her
    mind.
    She
    decides
    to
    take
    a
    maternity
    test
    only
    to
    find
    she
    is
    not
    Cecilia’s
    mother.
    There
    have
    been
    plenty
    of
    films
    and
    shows
    exploring
    the
    switched
    at
    birth
    plot,
    however,
    when
    the
    audience
    is
    led
    to
    expect
    a
    comedy,
    director
    Pedro
    Almodóvar
    spins
    in
    an
    emotional
    twist.

    The
    bright
    colours
    and
    dark
    tones
    on
    the
    set
    contrast
    each
    other
    much
    like
    the
    plot
    and
    the
    story.
    While
    we
    do
    get
    to
    see
    joy
    in
    Ana
    and
    Janis’ relationship
    as
    they
    go
    from
    strangers
    to
    friendship
    and
    something
    more
    than
    lovers,
    it
    also
    holds
    equal
    appreciation
    to
    their
    past.
    Ana
    comes
    from
    a
    privileged
    but
    messy
    family?
    and
    despite
    having
    everything,
    the
    most
    she
    manages
    to
    gain
    from
    is
    herself.
    On
    the
    other
    hand,
    Janis
    raised
    by
    her
    grandmother
    after
    her
    hippie
    mom
    passed
    away,
    grows
    up
    to
    revere
    her
    past
    and
    keep
    it
    alive.

    The
    direction
    and
    camera
    work
    like
    fade
    out
    to
    black,
    and
    slow
    scene
    cuts
    are
    sure
    to
    remind
    the
    audience
    of
    some
    of
    the
    golden
    works
    of
    early
    cinema.
    They
    bring
    a
    sense
    of
    longing
    among
    the
    characters
    which
    is
    hard
    to
    come
    by
    in
    the
    21st
    century’s
    faced-paced
    stories.
    Penélope
    Cruz
    never
    misses
    a
    beat
    as
    Janis
    the
    smart,
    practical
    woman,
    a
    mother
    and
    an
    emotional
    individual,
    on
    the
    other
    hand,
    Milena
    Smit
    shines
    bright
    just
    as
    much,
    even
    next
    to
    Cruz.

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    Overall,

    Parallel
    Mothers

    is
    an
    exceptional
    piece
    of
    art
    that
    is
    enough
    as
    the
    tale
    with
    hints
    of
    drama,
    mystery,
    joy
    and
    nostalgia,
    but
    it
    offers
    more
    throughout
    its
    run
    time.

    Story first published: Friday, March 11, 2022, 17:15 [IST]

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