Parallel Mothers of Madres Paralelas, a Spanish drama film, is now out in theatres. Directed and written by Pedro Almodóvar, the film stars Penélope Cruz as Janis Martínez Moreno, Milena Smit as Ana Manso Ferreras, Israel Eljalde as Arturo, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón as Teresa Ferreras and several others. The cinematography is by José Luis Alcaine. The film is 120 minutes long, and it is nominated for the 94th Academy Awards in the categories for Best Actress (Penélope) and Best Original Score (Alberto Iglesias).
The synopsis reads, “The story of two mothers who give birth the same day.”
Parallel Mothers Review Contains No Spoilers
Spanish film Parallel Mothers is a story of two women (Janis and Ana) who give birth on the same day in the same hospital. The pregnancy was an accident for both. Janis is in her 40s and happy with having a child and being a single mother. Ana, a young woman in her 20s, isn’t pleased with becoming a mother. But having a child changes these women in ways they wouldn’t have imagined. In Almodóvar’s story, motherhood is the driving force and shows us what happens when the past meets the present.
With his film, Almodóvar has shown the past, and its effects cannot be overlooked. Janis, a photojournalist, wants to dig up a field where soldiers were forcibly buried during a war. She wants them to be buried with their family respectfully. She’s a compassionate person who wants to make the world a better place in whichever manner she can. Is she, however, the same person when it comes to being a mother? That’s something to anticipate.
There are multiple time leaps in the screenplay. Despite this, each short chapter appears complete, leaving the rest to your imagination. When Janis is on screen, the focus is always on her, even when surrounded by other characters. You observe these two ladies, their varied opinions and living styles, thought processes, and more when Ana joins the plot. Given the plot’s heavy reliance on motherhood, writer-director Pedro has left enough room for us to see these women as humans.
The camera work in Parallel Mothers is outstanding. It is not intended to dazzle you with breathtaking scenery. The emphasis is on characters who allow us to glimpse behind their appearances and grasp their feelings. Janis teaches Ana how to prepare a potato omelette in a scene in the kitchen. It’s delivered in such a simple way, but it still made me smile and stayed with me.
Janis is played by Penélope Cruz, who is brilliant as a clear-headed, focused, humble, and empathic person. With her magnetic personality, she lights up the screen. When you see Cruz, you want to gaze at her for a long time, attempting to discover who she is. Cruz shows she truly deserves the Oscars 2022 nomination in the Best Acting category. Milena Smit, who plays Ana, is excellent, shows growth as Ana with the time jump and holds your attention. Tereas Ferreras, played by Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, is another memorable character in the film.
Parallel Mothers Review: Final Thoughts
Parallel Mothers is a poignant tale topped with outstanding performances and spectacular cinematography. Alberto Iglesias’ music adds to the narrative’s calmness and sentiments. It’ll be well worth your time.
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