Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama


Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) Poster

A television actress encounters a variety of eccentric characters after embarking on a journey to discover why her lover abruptly left her.


7.6/10
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16 December 2005 | wenzelkm
I have never seen anything like this before.
What does spiked gazpacho, a suitcase, and a crazy woman with a gun have in common? Not much, at first glance, unless you are in the head of director Pedro Almodovar. In his film Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, Pedro mixes apparently unconnected objects and events that make no sense until the film is over. His direction and distinct style combined with good actors makes a movie as unforgettable as it is foreign. The basic plot deals with one day in the life of Pepa Marcos, played by Carmen Maura. During the day, we meet her lover, Ivan, who has a son, Carlos, whose girlfriend is Marisa, but like his father, Carlos is not loyal to Marisa but would rather kiss whoever walk in front of him, like Candela, Pepa's friend. All of the opposing motives create and tense mood, but besides everything is seems that Pepa knows what is going on and only worries about Ivan. The main subject is the destructive cycle of machismo and the women that are trapped by it. There are three girls and have fallen in love with one man that really doesn't love any of them, but only as temporary lovers. The tragedy is that the women don't realize this except Pepa who ends her relationships with Ivan. Even though she doesn't love Ivan anymore, we see with her conversation with Marisa, that she has not given up her love for machismo, but that she wants the telephone repairman. In my opinion, what makes this film good is the direction by Almodovar. I have never seen a style so distinct and interesting like his. The settings are familiar, but at the same time the colors create another world, like the world of Oz. One scene that captures this is when Pepa talks with Lucia on the phone and we can only see their faces and bright backgrounds. This is just a small example, but the attention to detail is the most important job to a director, and Almodovar has done it well. I recommend the move to anyone that wants to try something new, even though it was filmed in 1988. I think that anyone can relate to at least one role, especially because of the great acting. The film could give us a new look on our concept of love while keeping an open mind.

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