Palace Nova Cinema’s
Review by Geoff Jenke
Following the award-winning Pain and Glory, critically acclaimed director Pedro Almodóvar returns with PARALLEL MOTHERS, a Spanish drama featuring Penélope Cruz, winner of Best Actress at the 78th Venice Film festival for her performance, and Milena Smit – a Goya Awards nominated actress.
PARALLEL MOTHERS tells the story of two women, both single mothers, who give birth in a shared maternity ward in Madrid. Both women harbor fears and unresolved emotions over failed relationships, seeking support in one another and wandering the hospital halls in mutual apprehension for what the future holds.
The movie explores the experience of Motherhood through two women from vastly different walks of life, but who have both fallen pregnant by accident. Underlying the main story of birth, love and tragedy is another story of family and ancestry.
Penelope Cruz owns this movie with her superb presence on screen. The movie has a lot of twists and turns but the “second” story of ancestry is pushed to the back and this story almost deserves a movie to itself. It tells the story of ancestors killed during the Spanish Civil war and buried near the village in an unmarked grave and Cruz’s character, Janis, wanting closure by finding the dead ancestors.
Cruz’s performance is surefooted and complex, while Smit, playing the part of the second unwed mother, Ana, is emotionally raw and energised. The two mothers have a completely different outlook on life but in the end are joined as one.
Parallel Mothers weaves two themes in its 120 minutes. Maybe it would have been better only dealing with one. However, don’t let that put you off. Parallel Mothers is certainly a film worth seeing in 2022.