Parallel mothers

Parallel mothers
Original title:Madres paralelas
Director:Pedro Almodóvar
Running time:120 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Two women, Janis and Ana, meet in a hospital room about to give birth. They are both single and have become pregnant by accident. Janis, a middle-aged woman, has no regrets and in the hours leading up to the birth, she is deliriously happy. Ana, on the other hand, is a frightened, remorseful and traumatized teenager. Janis tries to cheer her up as they sleepwalk down the hospital hallway. The few words they exchange during these hours will create a very close bond between them, which chance will complicate in a way that will change both their lives.

Marianne Velma's Review

An extra soul. This is what characterizes the cinema of Pedro Almodovar. Hidden behind the colorimetry of the Movida, concealed in a baroque thriller or nestled in the heart of an intimate drama, these 21 impalpable grams are never missing, like a metaphysical signature. With Parallel mothers, the filmmaker seems to navigate in conquered territory. A story of women, mothers, desire and a scent of mystery. However, an unexpected theme, on the past of Spain, invites itself between the lines of the psychological thriller giving it an aura that only the filmmaker has the secret.

To begin with, Pedro Almodovar has fun redesigning the classic trappings of the Hitchcockian thriller. The twists and turns of fate, the wise brunette who turns into an incandescent blonde, the unspoken secrets, the machination... nothing is missing from the program. Except that the love affair this time concerns two women, the men being relegated to the background. Even off-screen. In front of the camera of the Iberian director, Penélope Cruz, whose beauty makes you dizzy, faces a falsely fragile ballerina, the newcomer Milna Smit. 

If the waltz between these two mothers intrigues as much as it fascinates, the spectator should not be fooled. The main theme does not focus on morality, as in Hitchcock's film, nor even on the supposed unconditional love of mothers for their offspring. In Almodovar's film, the debate revolves around the weight of secrecy, the lies one believes one can carry and the repercussions on the family lineage. The ending thwarts the expectations of a classic thriller.

This parallel story, around the mass graves that contain the horrors of a past that the Spanish have been forced to ignore, offers a perfect metaphor for the filmmaker to conclude his story. No matter how determined some people are, the lies always resurface, creating suffering that crosses time and generations. Spain cannot avoid this duty of memory in the name of a so-called self-righteousness that would like to see oblivion preferable to the truth. That Pedro Almodovar takes up this subject proves that the country finally dares to reread history. It's about time...

Parallel Mothers (Madres Paralelas)
Directed and written by Pedro Almodovar
Produced by Augustin Almodovar and Esther Garcia
Starring Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Rossy de Palma, Julieta Serrano
Director of photography : José Luis Alcaine (AEC)
Edited by Teresa Font
Music by Alberto Iglesias
Production companies : Remotamente Films A.I.E., El Deseo D.A., S.L.U.
Distributed by Pathé (France)
Release date : December 1, 2021 (France)
Running time : 120 minutes

Seen on November 22, 2021 at the Pathé theater.


Marianne Velma's Mark: