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Manuel Gómez Pereira
Dark as well as weird film with very good cast , nice performances but including complex plot
This rare picture with supernatural elements deals about an old man (Hector Alterio as Death or La Muerte) who hires a detective (Javier Bardem) to find the duchess (Charo Lopez) . The detective is accompanied by a brutal killer (Carmelo Gomez) who relentlessly kills people and even a baby . Along the way the Detective meets Maria (Maria de Medeiros) , a damsel in distress , both of them track down Duquesa .
Cold and strange film with a confuse plot , twisted intrigue , thrills , fantastic events and colorful images . The film relies heavily on the relationship among Javier Bardem , Carmelo Gomez and Maria De Medeiros ; it results to be a little bit boring , including with no sense dialogs , absurd situations and embarrassing screenplay . Offbeat writing credits by Azucena Rodriguez and same filmmaker Gonzalo Suarez with plenty of ridiculous and absurd deeds , adding supernatural frames ; being based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen . Magnificent main cast and great supporting roles such as Maria de Medeiros as María , an unfortunate mummy , Carmelo Gómez as a tough murderous , Héctor Alterio as G.M. a cruel wealthy old man , Charo López as Duquesa , Mapi Galán as Laura , Francis Lorenzo as D. Luis and Paulina Gálvez as Ofelia . Brilliant cinematography by Carlos Suarez , director's brother ; being filmed on location in Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland and beach scenes at the beginning shot in Llanes, Asturias, Spain , where director Suarez often shoots his movies . Thrilling and intriguing musical score by Suso Saiz , adding opera songs at the ending .
Direction by Gonzalo Suarez is mediocre ; however , he shows his skill for edition , realizing long shots with crowd who moves easily and including some action scenes . Gonzalo Suarez was born in Asturias , he is a good craftsman who has directed several films from the 60s . He excelled at bringing to life tautly written tales about strange characters facing difficult circumstances and dealing with thought-provoking , brooding stories . Throughout his career he regularly alternated hits with misses . He has stylistic trademarks , but also been criticized for his slow-moving films , though his best flicks remain exciting to watch . Among his most important pictures , mostly dramas , are the following : Oviedo Express , 1994 The detective and death , 1992 La Reina Anónima , 1991 Don Juan en Infiernos ,1988 Rowing with the wind , 1984 Epílogo ,1977 Parranda , 1977 Reina Zanahoria , 1976 Beatriz , 1975 La Regenta , 1974 La Loba y la Paloma .
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