Gimlet (1995) Poster

(1995)

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8/10
I liked this movie a lot more than most different language films I've seen.
dita-313 December 1999
Gimlet was a very emotional film, about a lady with an obsessive stalker, and has a twist at the end. This is one of the movies that gets not nearly as much praise as it deserves, as the acting is good as well as the plot. I am not a big fan of subtitles, but it was worth it.
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Viggo pays his dues in ho-hum Spanish thriller
lor_30 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Not unlike the career arc of Sharon Stone, Viggo Mortensen toiled in many a sub-par movie assignment before achieving stardom (and perhaps immortality via LOTR). This 1995 Spanish potboiler may hold modest interest for his fans retroactively.

SPOILER ALERT:

It's not technically a spoiler to reveal that Viggo plays the homicidal madman. That's because after seeing his name prominently in the opening credits, fully 53 minutes (of 87 total) elapse before he shows up in the movie, handling the Spanish dialog well but transparently behaving oddly as the long-sought killer.

Heroine Angela Molina, who is arguably the quintessential Spanish actress of all time (and still going strong), plays her lead "lady-in-jeopardy" role glumly, perhaps sour at her agent for hooking her up with hack director (primarly a writer) Jose Luis Acosta. It's a far cry from her emoting for top talents like Bunuel, Bellocchio, Pontecorvo or Almodovar.

She runs a bar/restaurant where a barman has been murdered -his heart cut out. Molina keeps receiving videotapes showing her under surveillance from a nutty stalker (Viggo it turns out). An undercover cop is hired as the replacement bartender and the film's pointless "no need to translate" title GIMLET derives from the drink, which she asks him to prepare as a test of his skills as a mixologist.

As a police procedural the film is deadly dull, and a dumb subplot about the incompetent cop whose duty is to protect Angela (but who is more intent on raping women himself than doing his job) is both distracting and poorly scripted. Running gag of the lead cop "blind" with his eyes bandaged for nearly the entire film seems a desperate attempt to add some sort of significance or symbolism to a pedestrian movie.

Once Viggo enters the scene and the genre changes from whodunit to psycho case history, the film perks up a bit thanks to his animal magnetism. Though latterly a larger-than-life hero he has great potential as a villain; reminding me of Raymond Burr's earlier roles and spotlight in Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW, though we all know him forever as the latter-day lovable "Perry Mason" or "Ironside".

As far as plotting, writer-director Acosta's skills are summed up aptly by Molina when she tells the head cop (translated): "None of it makes any sense".

Technical credits are unimpressive and attempts at gore (blood-dripping human heart or freshly severed neck) are lame.
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