What are the dramatic moments within the narrative
The relationship between man & woman
VOLVER- Raimunda's husband killed by his 'daughter', husband masturbating in front of wife when she refuses to have sex with him,
AYMT- Louisa leaves her husband as he cheats on her repeatedly, the scene of the ********* that changes Julio's and Tenoch's relationship and future, the impromptu childish sex scene between Julio and his girlfriend shows their age, nature, and adolescance.
VOLVER- Supernatural. Comedy moment e.g. hiding under the bed, Irene prefers being a ghost
AYMT- When Tenoch makes Julio beg, and spits "peasant" at him, it shows the class division of Mexico. The boys represent the deep devision of Mexico as a country, and it's identity crisis. Tenoch does not pick up his phone despite it being beside him, and Julio's family takes part in demonstrations.
What are the subtle moments within the narrative?
Women's status in family and society
VOLVER- Women have the role of breadwinner and homemaker. Raimunda has a job, and makes the food. For example, Raimunda and Paula come back from cleaning her parent's grave to find Paco at home drinking beer and watching television. It is up to Raimunda to make the food in the house. She does not complain about her status, and accepts it. She left La Mancha to Madrid to escape traditions, yet they have followed her to a supposedly modern city.
AYMT- Louisa does not accept her status as a woman. In the doctor's surgery, she reads the magazine article asking her if she is a "fully realized women". This scene foreshadows her death, as she is unsure about her feminity. The magazine believed She thinks about the present, time, being awake- a woman afraid to accept her freedom. Luisa didn't agree. Yet, after this scene, she escapes from her life with Jano, her husband and "accepts her freedom", proving the article wrong.
Lack of male representation and depth
VOLVER- The only males present are Paco, and the filmaker, which weakens the 'empowering women' argument. Their characters aren't developed, yet the lack of presence of men shows subtly how little men are needed in a narrative.
AYMT- Tenoch and Julio are obviously the lead male characters in the narrative. However, they rely on the company of women to keep their friendship alive. There is awkwardness when the girlfriends leave, and this is when they decide on the improptu road trip.
What genres are present in the films? What convent
City vs. Suburbia
VOLVER- La Mancha close to Madrid geographically, but is culturally far. More traditional as the characters would rather believe in ghosts than accept that issues like incest occured.
AYMT-The suburbian life is unknown to those in the city. They do not care much of the issues happening. Even though Mexico is industrialising and people are migrating, there is severe poverty and disorder.
VOLVER- Marital relationships, family relationships, mother/daughter, sisters
AYMT- 'Charulastra's' friendship, Louisa, homosexual friend
VOLVER- Paco masturbates in front of his wife, Raimunda. There is incest as Raimunda's fathr rapes her. Paula's adopted father, Paco, almost rapes her too.
AYMT- Threesomes at a party which Tenoch and Julio attend, and one with Louisa. Tenoch and Julio both have seperate sex scenes with their girlfriends, and with Louisa.
CONVENTIONS: Narrative structure in AYMT is Hollywood, and VOLVER follows Todorov's structure, but the characters are not conventional.
How are the audience encouraged to identify with p
The audience identifies with characters weaknesses and sacrifices made throughout the films.
Penelope Cruz- she sacrifices her life for her family. For example, she is ***** by her father, yet still gives birth to Paula. When Paula is nearly ***** by Paco, and she kills him, Raimunda is able to put aside her emotions of the event that occured, and clean up the mess.
The mother (Irene)- she hides for many years in La Mancha as a ghost, but returns at the death of Augustina. She doesn't want to intrude in Raimunda's life, as she blames herself for the **** between her husband and daughter, and the affair.
Louisa- she has sacrificed her life for others: first her mother, then Jano. Now she is dying, she forces herself to be free. The audience and the characters are unaware of this, apart from the one scene where her death is foreshadowed at the doctor's appointment. The fact that she doesn't tell anyone of her illness shows she is making another sacrifice.
The girlfriends- escaping their life in Mexico, a country with extreme poverty and an identity crisis, to seek new adventures and thrills. Young audiences may identify with this behaviour.
How is female empowerment not achieved? How are me
Lack of male representation and depth
VOLVER- Only male characters are Paco and film-maker (potential love interest), two-dimensial, not developed, intentions are unclear. Weakens argument of female empowerment.
AYMT- Tenoch and Julio rely on women so friendship succeeds. Young, innocent, need support of women in lives to seem 'macho' (Louisa comforts Tenoch after first sex scene).
Female character's actions
LOUISA (AYMT)- the audience sees Louisa crying and depleated a lot, and believe this is due to her seperation from Jano. It is because of her impending death. If she told the boys, the argument of empowerment might have seemed stronger to the audience as she's accepting her situation. Yet, it looks like she is running away from life.
VOLVER- The audience feel frustated with the traditions of La Mancha, and that Irene is never openly revealed to the society as alive, and that Paula is Raimunda's sister and daughter.
Influence of Hollywood
VOLVER- Status as a Spanish film and independent art-house film lowered as it has Penelope Cruz as the lead female actor and she has international recognition.
AYMT- Narrative structure: despite an A story of the characters, and B story of Mexico's political situation, it is 3 acts and genre based, mostly being a coming of age drama.