Zapa is a locksmith in a quiet and little town lost somewhere in the province of Buenos Aires. The work is quite slow, and hours seem to pass slowly. Polaco, the owner of the shop, sends him on a job that consists of opening a safe at an office. The next day, Zapa is imprisoned for being responsible of robbing the place. Ismael, his uncle, a retired policeman, bails him out and sends him to Buenos Aires. Zapa becomes an aspiring officer in the Buenos Aires Police. He gets to his new home city, takes the instructional course, works at a precinct, has a love affair with a teacher and starts to see his life turn into a strange fiction. Written by
This film was shown on cable recently. Unfortunately, most Aregentine "indie" films go unnoticed in this country because there is no market for something like this, even though it's better than most of the mediocrity one sees on a daily basis. Pablo Trapero's film is disturbing. Having seen his "Mundo Grua", we had to take a look at this new attempt of the director.
Mr. Trapero introduces us to Zapa, a young locksmith, living in the provinces. Zapa, is not a young man anymore, he is 32 and has no future. Zapa is the victim of an unscrupulous boss who sends him to a job that involves a robbery. An uncle is instrumental for getting him free when he speaks to a friend in the Buenos Aires' police department about a job. Zapa is accepted, but his initiation and training, contribute to his ultimate downfall; he is a victim of a system that is inept and corrupt. A great deal of the higher ups are on the take; in order to look the other way, those working in prostitution, or illegal activities, must pay for police protection.
It doesn't help that Zapa falls prey of a ruthless superior, Gallo, who makes him bend the same law they are sworn to uphold. Zapa falls in love with Mabel, one of the instructors, who is the only one that shows any compassion, and perhaps love, in the cold atmosphere of the big city, until she realizes her lover is working for the bad guys in the department.
The film offers good performances in general. Jorge Roman, as Zapa, makes us care for this man. Mr. Roman's casting is perfect because he brings to the role a roughness that with another actor would have been ruined. At the same time, this actor shows a vulnerability and candor in his interpretation of the yokel from the provinces. Mimi Ardu is good as Mabel, Zapa's love interest. Their intimate scenes are so sensual they make the viewer a 'voyeur' watching them. Finally, Dario Levy, as Gallo, the corrupt cop, makes a great appearance.
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