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On journalism, ambition, youth, love, life, death and... Lima
This is a film by Lombardi who is the only film director from Peru to be internationally recognized at this moment. He achieved a great success bringing 'La Ciudad y los Perros' ( The City and the dogs, by Vargas Llosa) to the screen in mid 1980's. The story is about the life in a Peruvian military school where teenagers are trained to be the tough one. Needless to say it's full of violence, but also very interesting. From then on he continued to film stories on Lima's life (or Peru), usually from Peruvian novels. In 1994 shot 'Sin compasión' based upon Dostoievski's 'Crime and Punishment' but it lacked the strength that his latest film is full of. 'Tinta roja' begins with a couple of young journalist diplomates who had just finished College and need to practise to fulfill the requirements to work. They're Nadia (Lucía Jiménez, see her in 'Silencio Roto' or 'Bajo la piel') and Alfonso (Giovanni Ciccia). Both of them want to be in Social or Shows or Cultural department but when they meet the Director of the newspaper (which is 100% sensationalist) she gets the first election while he must go to the 'red reports' that's about blood (accidents, killings, suicides, kidnappings and everything related to passion and human most primitive feelings). Faúndez (Gianfranco Brero) is the old, cynical, intelligent journalist that'll take care of Alfonso. Alfonso doesn't like him and Faúndez doesn't like him either. Each one has a reason. Alfonso wants to be a writer (say a novelist) and has a kind of ' manual for young writers ' by Vargas Llosa always at hand, but he studied Journalism because of his mother and aunt (his father gave them up when he was a little child) and there's no place to learn how to be a novelist. So he prefers Society news as an easier way to accomplish the practices. Faúndez doesn't like Alfonso for they same reasons, the young one doesn't want to be a journalist and least of all a reporter on blood events. They start working, wandering around Lima in a white van with a driver (Van Gogh, Carlos Gassols) that has a quote for any situation and young Escalona (Fele Martínez, see him in Thesis)the photographer, almost mute. After some days of work the conflict between Alfonso and Faúndez fades away (sort of) and the gap between Alfonso and her girlfriend (not as much as he'd like to) Nadia grows. And the story goes but here I stop 'cos you must find out the film for yourself.
The story is full of humour (dialogues are great), which can make the facts bearable (and even more believable).If it wasn't this way you could get tired of crimes and deaths and lose some interest on the plot. Anyway it's more the kind of humour of 'Amores perros' than Tarantino's.One of the funniest scenes is when a gorgeous girl (yvonne Frayssinet, Roxana) brought by Faúndez to make him forget Nadia, rubs his crotch with her barefoot (pink nails) while answering 'I'm a podologist' to the question 'What do you work in? (all this happens sitting on a table in a bar).
The cast is perfect, specially Gianfranco Brero and Carlos Gassols.
I love Lima's (or Peruvian) accent! Even beggars talk like princes.
In spite of the names all actors and actresses are from Peru (save for Fele Martínez and Lucía Jiménez, oth from Spain) as long as I know.
I strongly recommend this film (even if you can't enjoy the original dialogues) for both the argument, actors work and Lombardi's direction. The whole thing is a highly interesting depiction on Peru nowadays.
I give it a 8/10.
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