Based on a true story, a group of 147 overworked and underpaid Colombian soldiers find the treasure they didn't seek; $46 million. The film is a surreal black comedy and follows 4 of the ...
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Daniel Giménez Cacho,
Rodrigo and his friends are bored teenagers living in Medellin. Rodrigo wants to start a punk band. The youths mainly loaf around the hillside shanty towns and, for kicks, steal a bike or car, or shoot someone.
Carlos Mario Restrepo,
Jackson Idrian Gallego
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Based on a true story, a group of 147 overworked and underpaid Colombian soldiers find the treasure they didn't seek; $46 million. The film is a surreal black comedy and follows 4 of the 147 soldiers who were part of the anti-guerrilla "Destroyer" battalion, and tells of their story leading up to and after finding the money. The soldiers decide to divide the money between themselves instead of giving the money to the Colombian government. The soldiers don't have food, water or toilet paper, but instead use their bags full of money as pillows. As the soldiers are recalled and taken back into civilization, they start to use their money for bad things, spending it on brothels, alcohol and prostitutes. The discovery the soldiers made changed their lives. They no longer live in poverty and now are capable of achieving their dreams. Now they hope to return to civilization and make their dreams come true. Written by
"Soñar no cuesta nada" was based on the true story of more than 140 Colombian soldiers who found an illegal fortune belonging to the FARC guerrillas in the middle of the jungle and who, instead of informing about it, decided to keep the money for themselves. As you can imagine, most of them spent it far too fast and far too naively.
All of this originally happened back in 2003 and now most of the real soldiers are on the run, with a few either turning themselves in or having been captured, and a couple of them ending up dead as a door nail. The story caused a rather public controversy in Colombia, which continues even after most of the captured soldiers have been recently sentenced to 3 - 10 years in jail, depending on their specific actions / responsibilities.
That is the true story, as chronicled by the press. The movie is clearly based on it, but adds a considerable amount of fiction to the tale, and even stops a bit short of what really happened (it was made before the sentencing phase, for example).
While none of the characters involved mirror their real life counterparts that closely, the issues at stake are well represented, including the moral and personal sensitivities involved. In that respect, the movie succeeds, aided by a talented cast (by Colombian standards), a remarkable photography work and a very active soundtrack. A reasonably good sense of humor is in it too, though non-Colombians might not catch all the in-jokes and ironies involved (some of which are better than others though). Still, the overall theme of professional duty and honesty versus personal necessities and temptation is universal and remains accessible enough.
As for the ending, I'll simply say this: the final few minutes could have used some more conflict and perhaps a bit less of the sappy stuff. An additional 5 to 10 minutes couldn't have hurt. As it is, things happen a bit too fast and, while the film remains quite interesting in its own right, the final result does tend to simplify the consequences of the soldiers' actions. A good movie, certainly, but it could have been even better. Overall, I give it 7.7/10 or so.
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