Colombia's 2009 Academy Awards official submission to Foreign-Language Film category. See more »
Another commonplace empty "sicario" movie.
"Perro come perro", a.k.a. "Dog Eat Dog", has been announced as a groundbreaking feature film in Colombian cinema, mainly for being a participant in Sundance Festival 2008. I even got to read a review saying that it would be the next "Amores Perros" of South America and that it marked a new period for Colombian cinema. As an openminded person who loves cinema, I was very much persuaded of seeing the film for the positive reviews: I definitely expected a whole lot more of what I got to see on the screen. Those propagandistic reviews are the motivation behind this personal commentary.
PCP is seriously flawed in many ways. We may start on the overacting of most of the cast. Now then, if it hadn't been for the superficial way in which the themes were dealt with, the spectators could have empathised with at least something; but there's no space for empathy to happen. On the contrary, the supposed seriousness of the main characters' problems is ludicrous.
The plot in itself is quite straightforward: it's a film based more on atmospheres than on actions. If the movie fails to portray a plausible atmosphere is because of its overdirecting. Without any relevant plot twists and several obvious elements, it tries to appeal in any available form to the audience, even resulting in ridiculous comic relief situations. The soundtrack (original music) and title sequence seem like made for another kind of movie. The 'over the top' post-production (colour correction, editing, sound design) only makes us too aware of the directorial efforts to be innovative. Let's face it: if you're going to do "another" Colombian-violence related-gangster film, try at least not to step on the abundant clichés available for the genre. Instead we get to see a handful of badly used cinematic resources within a weak story.
Besides the flaws aforementioned, what I least liked is its thematic emptiness. There are so many pointless situations!! This is made especially annoying with some exaggerated gratuitous violence scenes. All in all, I never got the point of the film (not the story, which is far too simple). What I mean is that it doesn't really say anything new or interesting about the topic, nor it has a cinematic proposal that would rescue the film from being a commonplace empty gangster-sicario movie, as what it really is.
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