Spain. The Basque Country. Sometime in the 90s. Josu Jon, a young member of a terrorist organization, has suffered an almost complete memory loss after being wounded in a shooting with the ... See full summary »
Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón
Based on a true story. In the 70's, during the last stages of Franco's dictatorship, Txema, a basque construction worker, is arrested because of his connection to some terrorists who have ... See full summary »
This was one of the movies presented as a supporting program of biannual Festival of feature animated films in Zagreb. I was waiting to see it with some anticipation, as I've seen some trailers for it. From the trailers it promised to be a dark comedy in the manner of "Happy Tree Friends" and with some profound social message to boot. Plus, it's Spanish, it must be smart, right? Before screening the director himself went out on stage and said a few words - he came off like a person who has something to say. But, I was curious to find out why the film wasn't in the official competition.
Then I've seen it and found out...
This movie must be the worst crap from the world of animated movies that I've seen in a long long while, and being a festival goer I've seen a lot! Actually this is no movie, this is a mess. Story-wise it's as if every political allegory (and it is, according to the director, a political movie) has been ripped off, mashed and blended together and scattered randomly over the hour and a half. The plot made no sense whatsoever. The director may have co-written the story but he directed it as if he himself had no clue or interest in what was going on. He seemed happy to toss a rude language or a crude gag every here and there, again with no rhyme or reason, probably to just keep the viewer interested. And, to my surprise, the audience not only remained interested, but kept laughing to random jokes throughout the screening. They were either very drunk or tired or it was the first cartoon they've ever seen.
Numerous sub-plots ruined any hope of coherence and pace and were ruined themselves by amateur direction, awkward dialogs and bad characterization of protagonists (director has stated that they were all "motherf***ers", yet somehow I sympathize with those cartoon creatures that just had a lousy material to "work with"). Overall it came off as a bad soap opera, being so needlessly complex and slow.
Animation was occasionally good and witty but mostly it was obvious that the animators had inadequate experience to conceal inherent weaknesses of 2D style they used. Of voice talents I can't say much, because I'm not that familiar with Spanish language, but even they didn't sound too convinced in what they worked with.
The best for last - the message. Frankly, I'm not sure if there was any. It was supposed to be an "Orwellian take on today's 'carnivorous society'". But was it really? When one makes a political allegory (or allegory of any kind), the characters have to be at least remotely identifiable with corresponding elements in real life. OK, then it was a lousy allegory, but it must have had an agenda. What was it? I honestly don't know, but I know that the director doesn't either.
I sincerely recommend this to masochists and fans of exceptionally bad movies. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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