View Full Version : Volver - original Spanish-language question (boxed spoilers)

12-02-2006, 01:05 PM
My husband and I saw and loved Pedro Almodóvar's Volver the other night. What a delightful film! It was also a delight seeing Penélope Cruz in a role worthy of her talents. She's a wonderful actress when she's not made to speak a secondary language like English.

We have a question about something that didn't seem to come through quite right in translation. We rely on the subtitles because we don't know Spanish but understand that the subtitles have to be dumbed down to an extent.

Our question is regarding Agustina, the neighbor who lived across the alley from Raimunda and Sole's aunt Paula. I don't think this is really a spoiler, so I won't box it. It was pretty obvious that Agustina was ill when Raimunda, Sole and teenage Paula visited her, because of the buzz cut, which indicated that she'd gone through chemo therapy, and because she smoked marijuana to help her appetite. However, later in the film Agustina calls Raimunda from the hospital and tells her she has cancer, as if for the first time. What got lost in translation? That Agustina was in remission at the beginning of the film and then the cancer came back? Or did no one really know that Agustina had cancer at the beginning of the film, including Agustina?

Is medical marijuana legal in Spain? I was impressed how it was shown being consumed so matter-of-factly.

Spoiler regarding mama:
I loved when it turned out that she wasn't actually a ghost.

Martha Medea
12-02-2006, 02:42 PM
I saw the movie about a week ago and loved it as well. I'm a Spanish speaker living in a Spanish-speaking country, so naturally we watched it in Spanish without subtitles.

It seemed quite clear to me that when Agustina called from the hospital, it was the first time anyone, inlcuding herself, knew about her cancer. The haircut was strange, though. Maybe it's just one of those Almodovar quirks.

Drug laws in Spain were relaxed in the early 80s, to the point where you could smoke marijuana in public. At first, everyone was doing it, everywhere. These days you don't see it happening so much. My impression, anyway.

Absolutely. Who's ever heard, or smelled, a ghost's fart?

12-03-2006, 04:43 PM
Thank you for answering Martha. It's fascinating to find out about the marijuana laws. I had no idea.