The movie that could have been great...
As big Viggo fans, we desperately wanted to love the movie. And it has a lot going for it: a flawless production (rarely a given in Argentine films) which is perfect on atmosphere, beautiful camera work in every single frame, and impressive acting all around. I strongly disagree with Buenos Aires Herald critic Julio Nakamurakare's statement that Viggo Mortensen is "light years away from his sterling performances ." He should give it another viewing and look harder. Viggo Mortensen is actually playing three characters, Pedro the lowlife from the Tigre Delta, his twin brother Agustin, a prestigious pediatrician and – Agustin pretending to be Pedro. He pulls off a fabulous job, offering an array of subtle nuances which give each character its own distinctive shading. Soledad Villamil (of The Secret in Their Eyes fame) is wonderful as Agustin's wife Claudia, but her character kind of falls to the wayside much too soon. Daniel Fanego is predictably great as the bad guy and Sofia Gala Castiglione is the big surprise as the tough gal from the swamps. These are the good points in this story (and the reason why I give it 7 points) that starts out as a thriller (a murder in the Delta), continues as an intimate character study (a man's midlife crises – maybe, though that's open to interpretation), then slides into an off-and-on suspenseful tale of swapped identities, botched plans, some more character study and a rather far-fetched slapped-on love story, all of it sustained by some brilliant scenes and brought down by many mediocre ones. Unfortunately, all this does not come to a satisfying end. Instead, we came down with a thud at the end, confused, irritated and full of questions about loose ends. This movie is not Dogma or Nouvelle Vague or some indie experiment, it is classical story-telling, but for that there is just not enough on motive and background. So sorry, Ana Piterbarg! Luckily you will have the chance to get it right next time. And the time after. Hopefully. Anyway, judging from the post-show ladies room comments, people do love the movie! And yes, Viggo rocks!
- Sep 2, 2012
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