This project is an invitation to break the taboo. An inspiration and information channel for the ones who go through the grieving process and the ones who want to help

Almodovar’s Juliet

In his last film, Pedro Almodovar thrills us with a story of a complicated grieving process. The film is based on three short stories from the book "Fugitive" by a Canadian author, Alice Munro, winner of the Nobel literature prize in 2013.

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There are those who love Almodóvar, and those who hate the director and his films. I am part of the first group, of the fans, and whenever a new Spanish director movie stars, I run to the movie theatre. I went to see “Julieta”, released in Brazil in the middle of the year, without reading about the plot but waiting for new reflections – always caused by his films. It took me months to write this post: maybe because it took some time to elaborate the movie; perhaps because I have sometimes thought if this was indeed a good recommendation for those who are going through grieving at this time. But I decided to take a chance, at the risk of not being right, but with the feeling that those who have already suffered a great loss will see themselves in the strong aesthetic of the master, Almodóvar, even having made choices that were different from the protagonist choices.

Juliet is played by two actresses. As a young woman, the actress Adriana Ugarte who gives shine to a radiant, impulsive, full of life young woman. In the second part, Emma Suárez does a beautiful job playing another Juliet, more mature, silent and very sad. Pain is brought on by a traumatic loss followed by another loss as devastating. Without spoilers, it tells us about Juliet’s mourning period after losing her husband in an accident and, years later, after her daughter disappeared by choice. A straightforward tragedy with no ironies, dense, a film that loses its color as the character loses her energy for life.

I am not a movie expert and several reviews have been written about the film. A simple search on Google in order to realize that many experts have considered it an average movie, a minor Almodóvar (although some give it five stars, like this review of The Guardian). As our subject is grieving, not cinema, I decided to select five reasons why I point out this film from a very particular point of view:

  1. It is very sad, but you will certainly identify with some situations.From the protagonist “fading” in the face of the pain caused by the missing daughters’ preserved bedroom. From the impact that a casual reunion may cause to the role of memory in building a new life. Details full of meanings, especially for the ones who have already been there.
  2. There are many kinds of grieving processesand many ways to go through them. It is not only the protagonist who goes through many separations. When he knows the husband, he also goes through a grieving process beforehand. And his daughter, has her life transformed by the loss of her father, and in a way, a mother who no longer exists
  3. It is a very feminine movie, which is a characteristic of the director’s work. It is about a widow and a mother. It is about every woman who “lives” inside the same woman. And also about a daughter, who decides to follow her own way, all by herself. It is about the separation of these women and also a gathering of feelings, guilt and suffering. As we have told in this site before, men and women seem to live and express grieving in different ways. “Juliet” and Truman” are two different kinds of dramas, two ways of telling stories about losses, two ways of retelling life.
  4. No one erases the past. Although we still have at our disposal different ways of moving forward, what we live and the people who have been in our life will be forever in our present and future. The absence is the character that plays with Juliet in all the film. The missing daughter, the deceased husband, the mother with Alzheimer’s … everyone is on the scene.
  5. It makes us think about the importance of the support network. Although it is poor in the film, they are the few true relationships that help the characters in their processes. And what is missing there is also reason for reflection. I found myself resenting the misunderstandings that made the pain even heavier and an obstacle in reinventing life. See the preview below, if you are a NET subscriber, it is available for renting at NOW. Have a great movie!