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False Proclamations of Love and Other Betrayals in Talk to Her

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In most romantic relationships today it is very common for a couple to exchange kisses, hugs, and "I love you's". It is even very common, if a couple is in a serious relationship, to share in sexual activities. However, in Pedro Almodovar's film, Habla con Ella or Talk to Her, the relationships between the characters are bizarre and even disturbing. There are two couples in this movie that begin in completely separate worlds, but end up on the same path. One of the main characters, Benino, works in a hospital, caring for a comatose girl named Alicia. The other lead male role, Marco, is the boyfriend of a famous bullfighting woman that gets gored at a match and is in a coma at the same hospital. The two men meet and share in the trials of caring for and loving women that couldn't love them back.

Benino makes several false proclamations of love to Alicia. Benino constantly tells Marco of how much he loves Alicia while they are in the hospital together. There is no way that he can love her because Benino never even knew her. Before she was in a coma, he saw her a few times and spoke hardly two words to her any time they met. If anything, he was in lust with her. He enjoyed watching her dance, thought she was pretty, and was smitten by her. However, in order to love someone you have to have spoken to them, to know them, and for them to know who you are. Alicia and Benino did not have a relationship in any way. For Benino to tell Alicia and other people that he loves her is not fair to Alicia. Because she is in a coma, she has no say in what Benino says or does to her. Not only does Benino make false proclamations of love to Alicia, but Lydia, the gored, comatose, bullfighter, makes false proclamations of love to her boyfriend Marco as well. While Marco and Lydia were together, Lydia was also seeing another man. Before the bullfight that put Lydia in the hospital, Lydia told Marco that she loved him, when clearly she didn't because she was cheating on him. This is also an instance of betrayal. Lydia betrayed Marco's trust by cheating on him.

Lydia was not the only person in this film to betray someone. Benino betrays not only Alicia but also her father, the staff of the hospital, and also Marco. Benino's obsession with Alicia becomes sick and twisted when he rapes the comatose girl. Alicia's father can no longer trust Benino with his daughter because of what he's done. Benino also betrayed Alicia's father when he told him that he was gay. By telling him this lie, Benino gave him no reason not to trust him with his daughter. The hospital can no longer trust him with any other patients, and Marco can't



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