Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Pedro Almodovar's "Volver" has a melodramatic plot, melodramatic characters and melodramatic atmospherics. Yet, it does not end up as melodramatic in effect, at least not in the negative sense. Its depiction of the bond between mothers and daughters is genuinely poignant. This unexpected result can also be found in John Irving's novels. I am thinking of "The World According to Garp" and "A Prayer for Owen Meany" here. What makes the film and the novels more than the sum of its elements seems to me to be their spirit of invention. Bad melodramatic is garish in its use of stock of situations, characters and images. I find the wit and imagination in the film and novels technicolored instead.