Carlitos is a seventeen-year-old youth with movie star swagger, blond curls and a baby face. As a young boy, he coveted other people's things, but it wasn't until his early adolescence that his true calling--to be a thief--manifested itself. When he meets Ramon at his new school, Carlitos is immediately drawn to him and starts showing off to get his attention. Together they will embark on a journey of discoveries, love and crime. Killing is just a random offshoot of the violence, which continues to escalate until Carlitos is finally apprehended. Because of his angelic appearance, the press dubs Carlitos "The Angel of Death." Showered with attention because of his beauty, he becomes an overnight celebrity. Altogether, he is believed to have committed over forty thefts and eleven homicides. Today, after more than forty-six years in jail, Carlos Robledo Puch is the longest- serving prisoner in the history of Argentina.Written by
Official submission of Argentina for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 91st Academy Awards in 2019. See more »
Almost at the end of the film, Carlitos paid at the kiosk for a bunch of cigarettes and some sweets with a 10 Argentinian pesos bill, but that currency didn't appear until the 90s. See more »
Are people crazy? Does anybody consider the chance to be free? Going wherever you want; however you want. We all have a destiny. I am a natural-born thief. I don't believe in "this is yours, and this is mine".
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Performed by Johny Tedesco See more »
The "Killer with a Woman's Face"
«El ángel» is a gruesome, morbid and prudish film, which does not confront what it proposes nor does it portray what it suggests, turning the best-known serial killer in the criminal history of Argentina into a young boy with voluptuous roundness, who enters and leaves the houses of the rich and businesses with ease, who kills in cold blood and carries out robberies à la carte. But what «El ángel» omits is grave, only to sell us the pretty face of a young actor, put the killer's sexuality on the front page and emphasizes (a bit too much) his ambiguity, since the affairs of theGBTQ+ community are fashionable, and the unrepentant Pedro Almodóvar is listed among the producers.
The real life of Carlos Robledo Puch, as anyone can read in the annals of Argentine crime (via the internet), was more violent, morbid and marginal than what is described in the film. The script paints him as a cute psychopath, but does not give us clues or evidence of his maladjustments, concentrating instead on the full lips of Guillermo Ferro, the actor who plays him. In fact, this "invention" that Ferro interprets (very well, it must be said, considering that he had no acting experience) seems like a rational boy, aware of his capacities and qualities and with a not-too-hidden emotional streak, that easily surfaces in several scenes, when it is the turn of melodrama.
In this portrait of Carlos Robledo, there is no connection to the Argentine socio-political and economic crisis of 1971, when the country was subjugated by the first of the dictatorships that have harassed that republic, and insurrections and guerrillas had increased. There are a couple of torture threats made by police officers, or checkpoints, but little more is said about the dramatic panorama in which the young Robledo lived, stole and killed.
All the while, the script plays with his sexuality, but it evades the graphic in his relationship with a school mate (Chino Darín, who looks too old to be a high school student, that evolves from student to petty thief, to hustler and, suddenly, to aspiring television star); and omits Robledo's notorious kidnappings, rapes and murders of women. The film prefers to maintain a constant homoerotic tension between the two men, and introduces an implausible relationship with two female twins.
The film, in short, embellishes the life of the delinquent Carlos Robledo Puch, the "thief with a woman's face" capable of seducing police officers; and sets his criminal activities in jewelry shops, gun shops, old retirees' mansions or homosexual art collectors' apartments, when in reality Robledo mainly robbed and killed in hardware stores, bars, supermarkets and car agencies.
If I forget that this is a semi-biographical film, «El ángel» is nothing more than a standard and inconsequential little film that once again shows the creative jam of Argentina's mainstream cinema.
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