Parallel Mothers

December 24, 202180/1005 min
Penélope Cruz, Rossy de Palma, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde
Written by
Pedro Almodóvar
Directed by
Pedro Almodóvar
Run Time. 2h 3min
Release Date December 24th, 2021
Overall Score
Rating Summary

There are some filmmakers that when you walk into one of their movies you just expect nothing less than greatness. Pedro Almodóvar is one of those filmmakers and after films like Talk to Her, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down, and The Skin I Live In he has the library to back it up. With his latest film, Parallel Mothers, a film he once against writes and directs, he somehow makes delivering a great film look so easy. This time he is taking on what seems like a simple story about two mothers who give birth on the same day.  To only have it  turn it into a complex story about motherhood and family that will stick with you long after the movie is over.

The film opens up with us meeting Janis (Penélope Cruz), a photographer and who is named after the great Janis Joplin. And while she might not kill it on the stage, she does slay it with the camera. Photography is not her only passion, the other one is getting a mass grave where her great grandfather lays to be excavated, so that her and the other families of her village can give them a proper burial. It is at this time she meets Arturo (Israel Elejalde), who will lead that excavation and as we fast forward a year later and Janis is about to give birth to a baby. While in the Hospital she meets Ana (Milena Smit), who she shares a room with and eventually the same birth date for their children. After the birth the two women go their separate ways, but after some time Janis discovers something and decides to change her number and go on living her life like nothing happened. What Almodóvar tells us with this story is that no one is perfect and to some extent we are all capable of making bad decisions and it is ok to accept our mistakes instead of hiding them. In Parallel Mothers no one shows that more that Cruz, who once again gives a stellar performance in a Almodóvar film. These two just have a great working relationship and they always seem to bring out the best in each other. The cast of the film is mostly women, with the exception of Elejalde and in the hands of Almodóvar he delivers a story that every mother and human can feel. He also finds a way to connect everything in an almost impossible way and bringing an ending that is satisfying and emotional.

Parallel Mothers generally comes off as elegant and incredibly tender and offers the usual visuals you see in Almodóvar’s universe. His long scenes still resonate, as well as his rich color symbolism and gently moving cameras. You see things in the clothes that is worn or hear things in the choice of music, everything is something. This film asks the human questions and feels like a mesh of film genres, but what his latest mostly proves is that this is another Almodóvar classic film.

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