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Fernando Fernán Gómez,
Where three families learn about the truth - and where it lies.
Slow-paced, quasi thriller which examines the effects upon three families when a member of one runs down and kills a member of another family while a member of a third family - because of bad timing - is accused and arrested to face trial.
The perpetrator, Matias (Martin Slipak) concocts a stolen car story for his parents who, at first, believe him; later however, Matias breaks down, tells the truth to his parents who then compound the felony by going along with the lies. The father of Matias even retrieves the abandoned car, drives it to a secluded spot and torches it completely. The family hunkers down, keeps a low profile - but emotions are raw.
Meanwhile, the father, Victor (Frederico Luppi), of the victim, Pablo (Augustin Vazquez) sets out to find the hit-run driver. The police, with nothing to go on (they think), are not much interested: there are many hit-run crimes, many unresolved. Victor begins a door-knock campaign in the area of the killing and eventually finds a witness who recalls a fast car which nearly creamed him in a pedestrian crossing, for Pete's sake, on that night! Victor makes enough noise in the media for the cops to start looking for that car.
And so, eventually they find the car driven by Federico (Leonardo Sbaraglia) who'd left his car with a dentologist (aka auto body repair shop) to fix the banged-up front of his car which occurred when, hurrying to get home, he hit Pablo's bicycle. Pablo was angry, of course. After a colorful exchange of heated words, Federico drove off - leaving poor Pablo to take the hit, less than a minute later, when Matias didn't see him in the darkness.
Blissfully unaware, Federico had gone on holiday with his family; on return, however, he was immediately arrested for the hit-run, charged and tried. Federico's final fate is entirely believable, even inevitable. Old Victor thinks he achieved justice for Pablo, his dead son. Matias lives on, riven with guilt, unwilling to face up. The denouement, however, when the three men meet in the final, tense, ten minutes, is entirely unexpected - but, entirely believable also.
You don't get quality story and cinema like this much, any more. Acting, direction and editing are simply excellent; and there's not a wasted frame, in my opinion. Story construction and plot are cleverly interwoven to keep viewers' interest. Some critics, however, might suggest the over-use of coincidence for plot development; ignore that. Just enjoy an excellent, contemporary drama that could happen in any town, any day, anywhere.
Give this eight out of ten. Recommended for all.
September 7, 2014
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