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Hable con ella (2002)

Talk to Her

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 112 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15


We’ve all got a “type”, us blokes. Some of us like blondes, some brunettes – some even like other blokes, apparently. Chubby hospital-worker Benigno Martin (Javier Camara) likes his women to be quite quiet, and not too excitable – which is probably why he falls head-over-heels in love with Alicia (Leonor Watling). She’s pretty, she’s laid back, she never makes a fuss about anything – oh yeah, and she’s in a coma.

Yup, it’s fair to say Benigno is a bit special. Trusted by Alicia’s dad to look after the poor girl, he spends his days camped by her bedside, reading to her, chatting about his creepy dead mother, and telling her about his trips to the cinema to watch rubbish-looking silent movies (one of which looks like it could very well be titled ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Pervert’).

Anyway, when he meets Argentinean journalist Marco (Dario Grandinetti), the pair strike up an almost instant friendship – which is perhaps a bit of a surprise, given that Marco seems comparatively normal. But it turns out they’ve got something in common, as Marco’s bit on the side (Rosario Flores) is also in a coma, having been stomped on by a bull during her day job as Spain’s top bitter female matador. Serves her right, if you ask me.

This remarkably powerful twisted love story from top Spanish director Pedro Almodovar really does make a huge impact, provided you’ve got the patience to stick with it. It starts off incredibly slowly, and for the first half hour just doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. But, as the story gradually builds up, the characters become more and more fascinating, and as the plot reaches its climax it takes a couple of turns that you definitely won’t see coming.

Without doubt this is a film that’s worth seeing – Benigno in particular is as interesting a character as I’ve seen on-screen this year, occupying a strange position somewhere between sympathy and repulsion. It’s also unexpectedly funny in places, though if it can be called a comedy it’s certainly one of the darkest entries to the genre in a long, long time.

It's Got: A snake in me kitchen – what am I gonna do?

It Needs: To be watched with a bit of patience – this one takes its time to unfold.

DVD Extras Just some trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10


This remarkably powerful twisted love story from top Spanish director Pedro Almodovar really does make a huge impact, stick with it.

Coma coma coma coma coma chameleon, you come and go, you come and go-oh-oh-oh!!