2007. Manuel López-Vidal is a veteran Spanish politician and the right-hand of Frías, autonomous community's president (working as member of Spain's governing party), who he has an upper high-class lifestyle with his wife Inés and his teen daughter Nati. But behind of his long carrier and the respect of his party's partners and friends as Cabrera, Bermejo, Gallardo and Fernando, truth is totally different: Manuel is a crooked and corrupt man who since many years ago uses his politic position together his friends deviating foreign aids and getting money by means of any illegal way. When Gallardo is arrested accused of fraud and politic corruption, Manuel warms all his friends about to keep silence hoping that the police forgets the case by not founding new evidences. But when it's revealed in the newspapers that himself has been recorded in personal conversations talking about it, the fictional world of respect and honor created by Manuel falls down. With the elections closing the next...Written by
I went to see this wonderful movie with a minimum of information, as usual: a Spanish movie directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, with Antonio de la Torre. Nothing more. De facto, with a very positive a priori. During the first minutes, the atmosphere is a Dolce vita full of show-offs, with yachts, rolex, penthouses, prawns orgies and tutti quanti, in a universe of corrupt politicians. A scandal burgeons and one of them will immediately be designed for a sacrifice, in order to preserve the party and the government. Thus, in this extemporary exercise of musical chairs, the victim is Manuel López-Vidal, the main protagonist interpreted by Antonio de la Torre. The movie is quickly and suddenly transformed into a descent into the abyss, or rather a breathless race against the clock until an ultimate and terrific confrontation that might easily be considered as a merciless fight between the two last gladiators still standing within a Roman arena, with a combativeness boosted to the extreme, for the delight of a bloodthirsty audience.
The film deals with corruption through the eyes of a man for whom one feels almost empathy, despite the absence of sympathy. Thus, if this film addresses corruption without really judging it, the focus is primarily on the ability to survive, like manifold other movies, in fundamentally different contexts: Ayka (2018), Gravity (2013), The Road (2009), 28 Days Later... (2002), Deliverance (1972), ... Thus, with El reino / The Realm, we may see what a corrupt politicien is ready to do to save his own skin. No matter what! As a conclusion, despite a few idle times, this movie is excellent.
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