Rojo (2018) Poster

(2018)

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4/10
A draft of a film about a society in full depravity
FrenchEddieFelson25 June 2019
Yesterday evening, I took advantage of a French premiere within UGC Les Halles, in Paris, in the presence of the Argentine director Benjamín Naishtat who fluently spoke French with an almost-irreproachable accent. He confided us he was inspired by the detective movies (« polar » in French) of the 70's.

The film generally seems to be the mixture of two films from two distinct directors. The duels (all those involving Darío Grandinetti and / or Alfredo Castro) highlight an obvious cinematographic maturity based on an irreproachable photography and well-built dialogues. These scenes remind me of the excellent film El Clan (2015) which takes place a few years later, at the beginning of the 80's. Conversely, others scenes such as the rehearsal of the dance show are almost annoying and weirdly seem to come from another movie and from another director.

In summary, I'm rather disappointed with this slightly-muddleheaded movie, despite some excellent scenes. I'm nevertheless convinced that the next movie realized by Benjamín Naishtat will be better built. 4/5 of 10.
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7/10
What is it and what it seems
frantastika26 July 2019
This film take me by surprise, original and captivating. Usually I read something about the film before heading to the cinema but in this case I saw the trailer and read the quickly description. I'm mentioning this because affects yours/my mood and expectatives about the film, before even seeing the film, and your opinion of it. This films plays with different styles and the narrative is a metaphorical one. The beginning of the film set the pace and there is some humour there when you least expected. However all this funny bit and pieces that I enjoyed are related to the fact that I speak spanish, and the rhythm of the conversations, the tone of how things are said, can lead to laugh and enjoy the absurd moment or see it as a truly dramatic one. There is a another layer that talk about how we "slowly get used to" corruption and crime as far as we don't get our benefits taken away and our placid lives interrupted... too much. If you wanna see a film about a crime and a mystery, this film may disappoint you... if you go with a good open mood, you may have a great time!
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********Late Developing
GManfred15 July 2019
Summer movie season has arrived in NYC. I can always tell by the higher quality of the foreign films that come to town (you can bet none of the Hollywood films are of high quality). "Rojo" is the best film I've seen since at least the winter and I can't remember which one that was. This one features good acting and camera work and with some thought-provoking allegory and symbolism.

Nutshell: An influential lawyer is slowly losing his ethical footing after a confrontation with an unbalanced patron at a restaurant, leading to a visit from an amateur detective investigating the disappearance of the patron. Give it a chance, because it is slow to get underway. But if you appreciate superior filmmaking there is always a reward with a good motion picture, and this is one example.

******** 8/10 - Website no longer prints my star rating.
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Truly disjointed
random-707781 July 2019
I saw this at MOMA this past January and as I see it is up on video now I thought I'd summarize. The period in question is the nasty Isabel Peron dictatorship and the equally nasty dictatorship that replaced it. Disappearing people had been occurring in Latin America for hundreds of years and this period was no different. That is one of the underlying themes, and one of the few scenes that worked is a scene of local people going to a home and emptying it of anything of any value. It reminded me of a scene in Kazantzakis' Zorba where the moment the ageing widow dies, all of the town turns up to calmly steal everything not nailed down. The film also has some brief moments of great cinematography. It also is clearly influenced by Fargo, True Detective and some aspects of Scandinavian noir, although wihtout the depth, dark humor, or coherence.

Ultimately though. Rojo. is entirely incoherent. it not only fails to tell a meaningful story, it fails to tell an intelligible one. it is a tedious experience to watch it, with no reward at all for the audience.
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