Love is the saddest thing when it goes away, like that Jobim song, Marco says to Lydia. He is describing his last failed relationship, Lydia says she needs to talk to him as he has been talking throughout their conversation, he smiles and agrees to talk later, it never happens.
This is a Almodovar film and as the ballet teacher says ‘nothing is simple’.
We are introduced to Marco and Benigno who are sat together at theatre watching Piña Baush production. Marco starts crying and Benigno stares at him, these two men are the centre of the film.
Benigno is a male nurse who works in the coma patients department. There he cares for Alicia a ballet dancer. He talks to her when he cleans her, manicures her nails, cuts her hair and when he massages her. He thinks she is listening to him, it is his version of a relationship.
Marco meets Lydia who is a female bullfighter, she has just come out of a relationship, when Marco watches her taming a bull he feels attracted to her. He kills a snake for her and she feels attracted to him. It does lead us to think, is Marco attracted to vulnerable women that he can rescue? Marco goes to her next bullfight but Lydia is gored and ends up in a coma.
On visiting her in hospital he and Benigno meet, they immediately become friends.
There are the usual touches of Almodovar in the film, the dreamlike sequences and Alberto Iglesias music but there is also scene of the cleaning of patients which is almost scientific as is the close up of Lydia putting on her bullfighter suit. There is also a short film within which Benigno describes to Alicia, which we find out leads to a startling action.
This is where the film takes a turn and it leads us to a point of moral dilemma, which you will need to see to judge for yourself. Hats off for the way it is done as it could have gone a different way.
I enjoyed the film, it is thought proving and the acting is well done, particularly Javier Camara as Benigno, who is on top form.