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Strange (2003)
"Extraño" (original title)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 220 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 13 critic

The protagonist is Axel, aged about 40, a doctor who no longer practices his craft. He is living temporarily with his sister and her children. He doesn't do much, just exists a little ... See full summary »

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Title: Strange (2003)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Julio Chávez ...
Axel
Valeria Bertuccelli ...
Erika
Raquel Albéniz ...
Laura
Chunchuna Villafañe ...
Madre de Ana
Eva Bianco ...
Tatiana
Jorge Prado ...
Amigo de Axel
Lautaro Bengoechea ...
Pedro
Leonardo Bonet ...
Hermano menor
Victor Pietropaolo ...
Mozo
Valeria Mantello ...
Barman del boliche
Maria Diaz ...
Mujer del tren
Fernando Brillio ...
Medico
Malena Graciosi ...
Ana
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Storyline

The protagonist is Axel, aged about 40, a doctor who no longer practices his craft. He is living temporarily with his sister and her children. He doesn't do much, just exists a little between the living and their things. One day, he meets a young, pregnant woman. A relationship develops, a kind of love, and they live together, like driftwood temporarily clinging on to each other. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

23 July 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Enas paraxenos anthropos  »

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Prière: Lentement
Composed by Charles-Valentin Alkan
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User Reviews

 
So sorry...
7 March 2006 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

"Extraño" ("Strange") is another one of those failed first features; it's as easy as that. And even though I try no to repeat what I write, first features are a special case and I have to go back to say that they are usually too pretentious, too artistic and too thought provoking. Again, there are a small number of first time directors who pass the test.

Santiago Loza is not only the director, but the writer of his first film-making achievement. But it was not his name what got me interested in the movie; it was the name of one of the greatest Argentine actors, and they are a few: Julio Chávez. And by actor I'm not talking about a man who makes cinema, I'm referring to the complete sense of the word; a great actor in cinema, theater and television.

Chávez is known (or at least I know him for that) for choosing interesting roles in interesting films. It was so hard for me to figure out what he saw in this film! The script, for starters…There's none of it! And films exist that say too little but hide or express too much; not this one. The story follows Axel (Chávez), a man who speaks little and when it is required. We get to know him better than the rest (and it is very little) and another stranger (at first), Erika (a good Valeria Bertuccelli).

Axel is definitely a strange man, as the film's title suggests. He lives with his sister and why don't know exactly why, he is a great doctor but is not working and we don't know why either; he meets Erika and we can't tell if he has fallen in love until the movie makes it clear to us. As many others, the movie tries to be smart, by not showing things so we can figure them out. But why give us the answers on the table when Loza supposedly wants us to find them?

It's contradictory and not worthy of analyzing. The movie seems to be on a rush; it wants to end because there's a point it has got nothing left to say (if it had anything to say in the first place), but it has to be long, and it appears as intentionally extended. A beautiful and melancholic piano that keeps repeating the same tune decorates the sceneries. When character's talk, there is a complete silence; when we see the sceneries, the music plays.

The sceneries are also always the same, when director Loza doesn't understand that repetition is tedious, and even more if it is pointless. Trees, the street, a train moving and more trees…The film begins with a little dialogue spoken by Chávez. The dialogue is very interesting and it generates enthusiasm; although in the end we figure that piece of dialogue was Loza's only concrete (and therefore best) idea, and that it has no connection with the rest of the picture.

Julio Chávez portrayal is, as always, worthy of admiration and applause. I was in front of him when I saw him in a theater play, and I can tell you that it is amazing what the man can do. The movie is not up to his level, just as "13 going on 30" is not up to Mark Ruffalo's level, or "Along came Polly" is not up to Phillip Seymour Hoffman's level and they don't disappoint. That's what a great actor's got to do. Even if it is in a mediocre film like "Extraño", with a director like Santiago Loza, who needs to get his head cleared up a little bit.


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