La caja 507 (2002)
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This is an exciting picture plenty of intrigue , killings , twists and turns . From start to finish action-packed , fast-paced , thrills , emotion and suspense is continuous . Interesting and moving screenplay by Miguel Gaztambide and the same filmmaker . It is one of the best noir film that have been realized in Spain , it is a thriller that keeps you interested and expecting . Antonio Resines , José Coronado , Goya Toledo star in the sort of story we've seen many times before - a corrupt ex-police and a stubborn family man - but it is always fun when is executed with style and Urbizu certainly seems to have that . The cast gets credible and nuanced performances that enrich the flick . This film grabs our attention , beginning with a really brutal and masterful performance by Jose Coronado . Jose Coronado is simply awesome , he steals the show as a veteran and violent ex-police with dark secrets . An interpretation similar to subsequent ¨No peace for the wicked¨ in which he won a Goya award also playing a violent police . And of course , the great Antonio Resines plays as Bank manager Modesto Pardos who stumbles across some very strange documents ; Resines is simply superb, to be able to make a character icon in the figure of an obstinate clerk . Furthermore , a good support cast such as Goya Toledo , Dafne Fernandez , Juan Fernandez , Hector Colome and Sancho Gracia , a veteran actor working from the sixties and recently deceased . The movie packs a colorful and brilliant cinematography by Carlos Gusi who ha photographed successes such as ¨Torrente, the dumb arm of the law¨, ¨Juan De Los Muertos¨ , ¨Take my eyes¨ and particularly ¨Cell 211¨ . And being filmed on location in Toledo , Algeciras , Linea de Concepcion , Cadiz , Torremolinos , Malaga and Tangiers , Morocco . Suspenseful and thrilling musical score by Mario De Benito , a fine composer expert on sinister and mysterious atmospheres as proved in ¨The witch affair ¨, ¨Rigor Mortis¨ , ¨Al Limite¨, ¨A Ciegas¨ , among others .
The film was well produced by Fernando Bovaira , one of the best Spanish producers , financing a lot of films in lavish budgets such as ¨The others¨ , ¨The sea inside¨ , ¨Agora¨ , ¨Mortadelo and Filemon¨, ¨Butterfly tongue¨ , among others . The motion picture titled Box 507 or Caja 507 was professionally directed by Enrique Urbizu and won various Goya awards . He is a specialist on Thriller as proved in ¨Todo Por la Pasta¨, ¨Cachito¨ , ¨La Vida Mancha¨ this ¨Caja 507¨ and on comedy such as ¨Cuernos Mujer¨, ¨Como Ser Infeliz¨ and ¨Tu Novia esta Loca¨ but especially Urbizu is the director of No Peace For The Wicked (No Habra Paz Para Los Malvados), an upcoming 'tough cop with big gun' movie coming out of Spain , this is his best film surpassing even "La Caja 507" .
Antonio Resines stars as the father of a girl who he had thought died in an accidental forest fire. Once he wakes up (alone) after he is locked in the safety-deposit vault of his bank after being bound and drugged, he accidentally sees some documents. These documents reveal to him, the manager of the bank whose safety-deposit boxes were robbed, that the fire was caused to bring down property values due to the stigma of a young girl dying there.
So, he ties loose ends, and sets out for justice against all that were involved in the nasty plot. Oh, in case you read on without having seen the movie I have good news: I left enough out for you to watch and enjoy thoroughly.
A well-directed and acted movie, it is a prime example of the sort of quality film Spain produces on a regular basis. So, I obviously recommend it.
La Caja 507 is well written thriller, that keeps you intrigued to the end. Resines does a great job with very low key portrayal of a man, who is in the beginning living in an auto drive. He doesn't over act his grief, but you notice the sadness within.
IF you've seen only American crime movies, La Caja 507 is quite a different kind of a film. There's no exaggerated emotions or over blown vengeance plots via huge explosions. Modesto brings out his revenge by making the crooks attacking themselves. He never touches a gun himself, he just gives them enough rope, so that they can hang themselves.
Certainly worth a watch if you find this one on TV or on DVD; but do not expect an easy-to-swallow job, as the viewer's concentration has to play an active part - and there are not many films in this genre that manage that!
If you enjoy this film you might well like '99.9' (1997) (qv).
Now the ex-cop's murderous rampage does pose a problem both for viewers and for the film itself. Some viewers may want to skip it, others may watch it reluctantly, and others will scoff at this. My own take is that if the director, Enrique Urbizu, had chosen to half the body count, this film would be a near classic. What makes this call harder is that it's an unusual combo of convincing characterization so typical in French films, and of a disturbing gratuitous violence so typical of Hollywood.
What we can say about Coronado's portrayal of a mob affiliate is that it bears no resemblance to Clint Eastwood or Chuck Norris. His masculinity is not one-dimensional, nor bound to other men, nor polemical, nor is it aligned with patriotism. He's neither a man among men, nor a male imitator. If money and power are his driving force and if he's armed to the teeth, men and their games are far more dispensable to him than his love for his partner Monica Vega(Goya Toledo).
But what brings out the worst--and best, in this man is an inescapable life and death crisis which is suddenly thrust at him. Unimaginable, unforeseen, and unlucky forces combine not only to test his very fiber, but seem to collude to block and frustrate his most compelling and riveting moves. Given this, his convincing physicality, his unrattled nerve, and his severe determination, are no less than magnetic.
But perhaps it is this solitary heroism that seed his suicidal mission. Or perhaps it's the big heat taking its reckoning on his bad cop past, or the maddening quality of enduring severe frustrations. No matter the causes, we know that as his crisis deepens, his violence escalates into sadism and murder.
Yes, his execution blitz may take down only the guilty, but there's no doubt about his ruthlessness, or his lost control. Even the hoist gang tremble at his lacerating cruelty. Only when captured by mob goons does he regain himself, proclaiming his lover as a victim of injustice, and demanding that he himself be immediately shot.
The bank officer's motivation is not revenge, but rather justice--for a murdered daughter and a nearly murdered wife. He enacts his parallel commitment as a novice private investigator. Armed with nothing more than incriminating documents, and a determination that matches that of the ex-cop, he confronts equally dangerous situations and connections.
Beyond his courage, and his pedestrian heroism, what is most rare about him is his unswerving love for his wife and his daughter. In fact, for Modesto Pardos combined love and justice underwrite his incredible persistence. He visits his comatose wife daily, reporting to her his progress, encouraging her in healing words, and reminding her of both her certain recovery and his equally certain legal victory. (The unpretentiousness here and its lack of conventionality is quite remarkable.)
This reminds of one clear distinction between the Resines and Coronado characters. Pardos rejects his own interests and, in his risk ridden struggle, refuses to purge his feelings. That he never resorts to violence and rage, and instead relies on cunning, complex planning, and a kind of bold integrity, speaks of a control and competence informed as much by passion as on any fixation with scoring a victory.
And that emotion goes beyond the lives of his wife and daughter to all those affected by the fires and land seizures. These people also drive his urgent research, and his pressing need to outsmart and outmaneuver the powerful controlling forces that cause pain and suffering. He takes the criminality as deadly serious because he takes its victims in a deadly serious way.
When the two men are finally paired, they're the centrals stars of the mob's revenge, occupying their rooms of slaughter, with bleeding corpses strewn about them. The most dignified and loving thing for Razas to do, given his Monica's bloody corpse a few feet away, is to be shot down. The most dignified and loving thing for Pardos to do, given his wife is recovering, is to turn his back and walk out the door. Neither man deviates from his own script.
For the viewers, the connection between the two protagonists might seem closer than it does to them, and ditto for the two women in their lives, who stand in for the civic notion in a deranged male world.