|Index||4 reviews in total|
'El Gato Desaparece' is a nice little movie, nothing else. Don't expect
to find a life changing story, an intricate or deep plot or a fantastic
twist at the end. It's just a nice way of spending ~90min.
Lius Luque plays a Professor who has been recently released from a mental institution after a violent outbreak. His performance is correct. Beatriz Spelzini plays his wife, who is apprehensive of her husband's apparent full recovery. Her performance as an increasingly nervous women is outstanding.
There's nothing more I can say because there's not much more happening throughout the film (which is not a bad thing). The score is great.
Overall I found it entertaining.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are a lot of hints right at the opening sequence of Carlos
Sorin's last film about what is at the core of the story. We are taken
to a room where a judge is hearing arguments in favor of releasing a
patient now in a psychiatric unit. The consensus is that Luis, a
university professor, having been put away because the way he attacked
a colleague, presents no threat to society. All agree about giving the
man a chance.
As Luis steps out of the institution, accompanied by his wife, Beatriz, judging by the look on his face, one wonders if his stay in the clinic had any positive effect on the patient. One thing Luis wants to check is on Donatello, the black cat that is a family pet. Luis is shocked by the reaction of the feline, when he scratches his face. It is obvious the cat does not welcome Luis' presence in the house.
Beatriz, an attractive woman, surprises Luis by telling him she has rearranged his books into three different sections. Luis is not at all convinced the arrangement meets his standard. What was to be a pleasant return to normalcy suddenly begins not to have the effect it should have. Beatriz is not happy when she wakes up one night to find Luis rearranging, again, his books.
To add to Beatriz's worries, Donatello has disappeared. The fliers she has left all over the neighborhood do not help in finding him. Beatriz notices how restless her husband is; he is not even sleeping well. When Luis suggests to go on a trip to Brazil, she jumps at the opportunity by going to a travel agency to book the vacation.
Beatriz decides to call Fourcade, the professor that suffered her husband's aggression. Fourcade wants to make peace, so she suggests him to call on her husband. Fourcade is interrupted during the conversation by his cell phone that has a peculiar ring tone. As Beatriz and Luis are going to the airport, to begin their vacation, Angela, the maid, finds Donatello, who shows up as though he never left. The maid, putting away things in a deep freezer, is surprised by a puzzling discovery.
Carlos Sorin wrote and directed the film. He brings the action to Buenos Aires instead of setting the story in the South, as most of his previous films were. To the director's credit, his simple narrative hides a much deep drama, which is not exactly clear to the viewer, at simple view. Mr. Sorin gives his audience hints along the way, but nothing too obvious until one gets hit in the head with what really was happening in front of one's nose all the time. Carlos Sorin is not a prolific man, but he can always be counted to draw us into a rarefied world not easily detected because he demands one's full attention.
The film has a perfect casting in the key roles. Luis Luque, one of the most versatile character actors from Argentina, is seen as Luis, the man at the center of the story. In fact, Beatriz Spelzini is a joy to watch as the concerned wife that loves a man that might not be ready to join the world again. The excellent Norma Argentina is seen as Angela, although she has little to do. Hugo Sigman, Javier Niklison, and Maria Abadi are seen in supporting roles.
Nicolas Sorin, the son of the director, was responsible for the film score that works well with the narrative. Cinematographer Julian Apezteguia, does a wonderful job for Mr. Sorin enhancing with his images a film that was basically shot inside a house. One can only hope Carlos Sorin would come out soon again to share his vision with us.
I saw this at the Toronto Film Festival and am sorry to see that it has not yet received wider distribution. It's about a professor who returns home after being hospitalized for a serious psychotic episode, but his wife is not certain that all is well. And the cat has mysteriously vanished, too. What's going on here? This is one of the most satisfying homages to Hitchcock that I have ever seen. Though, low key, it is very witty and playful. It does not go in for broad gestures, but subtle ones instead. The suspense is initially seems almost an afterthought, and then it builds up by slight degrees until it reaches a suitably droll Hitchcock-ian conclusion. The director, Carlos Sorin, spoke at the screening and said that he was not used to making this kind of movie and that he had no plans to make any more. I certainly hope that he reconsiders because he brings a great deal of wry humour and directorial skill to this project. I saw another more highly touted Argentine film this year, Carancho, but I thought this film was easily superior, partly because of its lightness of touch. Well worth seeking out if you ever get the opportunity to see it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Carlos Sorin is an excellent Argentinian director, but "El Gato Desaparece" is not "Historias Mínimas" or nothing whatsoever. Sorin used to make little stories, pieces of the real life with characters played by non professional actors. He was good in that kind of pictures. Very good. But this new one is totally different. It's a kind of psycho thriller, since Luis (Luis Luque) finally goes home, released after a long time in a psychiatric institute. The doctors say he's completely cured, but his wife Beatriz (Beatriz Spalzini) is not totally sure. The behavior of Luis is normal. Instead, Beatriz is nervous and can't sleep. The picture focuses in both characters and the different reactions they have after the cat disappears and something strange, maybe dangerous, perhaps only in Beatriz's mind, rounds the house. We don't see nothing in particular, but the climax turns more and more heavy in some way. Apparently nothing happens, but we feel that something is about to explode anytime. Everything is very subtle thanks to Sorin's direction, a brilliant work of camera, lighting and music, and the intense performances of Luque and Spalzini, specially the latter. The film is entertaining and thrilling, slow-paced but always interesting.
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