I finally saw Volver, the new Almadovar film, I loved it for the same reasons I love Almadovar’s films- the design, the melodrama, the female centered universe of the narrative. The man actually seems to like women. Volver, in particular ensconces it’s audience in the warm embrace of mother-daughter relationships, to the extent of bringing a mother back from the dead in order to right the wrong done to her daughter.
It makes an interesting comparison to Meghe Dhaka Tara, a similarly melodramatic film and cinematically over the top (in a different way than Almadovar), with a female character, Nita, in it’s center. However the relationships in Ghatak’s film are those of predation and annihilation. There is one particular scene that comes to mind. In this scene, Nita is with her suitor, and her mother, is looking at them unobserved. There is an anxiety and ruthlessness in that look which chills you to the bone, I have never forgotten it. Of course, the comparison of these two films goes only so far, given that the partition of India haunt’s Ghatak’s film, while I don’t really know that something similar informs Almadovar’s film.