Argentinian Cinema 2013 #3: Barroco (2013)

(Argentina 2013 85m) Village Recoleta

Agustín Gagliardi, Estanislao Buisel d Estanislao Buisel w Estanislao Buisel, Walter Jakob c Soledad Rodríguez ed Ignacio Masllorens s Gabriel Chwojnik

a Julián Larquier Tellarini, Julián Tello, Walter Jakob, William Prociuk, Julia Martínez Rubio

4th day of Bafici – April 14th, this is the third film seen thanks to the press screenings done every morning for those with a press pass. This is part of the Argentinian Competition.

This was an incredible surprise, I didn’t expect to like this at all, not even love it, its name its deceiving, it may speak to you as a dull and dry film but it’s quite the contrary, it’s entertaining and inventive in the way that moves forward and invents new ways to tell the happenings and feelings of its protagonits, it also feels real in the way that it portraits its characters, their feelings and reactions are natural due to their obsessions and the situations as well as places that sorround them, specially when it comes to our protagonist: a man whose gas connection has been cut, a literature student drop-out who loves to read, starts working at a book store just to be near the books, and whose dream is to do a photo novel that chronicles how the life in Argentina would be if it had no gas or gas appliances, obviously inspired on his life without any gas connection. There is a clear and at the same time intelligent as well as obscure co-relate between the plot that revolves around the main character and how the photo-novel is coming up and gaining steam and/or problems as the film progresses, all ending in its final minutes with a visual representation of what the photo-novel ended up being, with all the plot elements used in one way or another enrich the visuals of the final product.

The main character is someone we already know from our life, he is the idealist book lover that reads everything that gets into his hands. He has a girlfriend but he is unsure of himself and of his worth towards her, yet at the same time he has a lover whom he can attend to any time he wants. His life may seem boring but is filled with complicated happenstances and moments where his acute mind actually surpasses the wit of the common man, though even that isn’t enough to make him get past everything that will be thrown at him. When he plans a big scam towards the book store in which he is working, even though the plan seems perfect to our ears when he runs it down for us, and then we start to see the failings, so obvious from the beginning, we now understand that it’s not actual intelligence as much as a well constructed speech and use of language that make us believe, understand and follow everything the main character says. The ending of the whole episode with the book store actually reveals the pathetic state of mind in which it was done, a sense of superiority that was forced down due to the circumstances and his own blindness.

The acting in the film isn’t really spectacular as much as its believable, we see and hear our main character and we already know who is he and how he is, it’s incredible how well portrayed was this archetype. The cinematography, again, is alright but nothing splendorous, with the only important elements and playfulness present in the final minutes when the photo-novel is finally presented. About that last part, even if the film is ultimately the demise and falldown of the dreams and wit of our main character, a revelation of his own ignorance, we nevertheless see the fruit of his efforts in the form of the finished photo-novel, but the product is so different than to what’s been said and talked about in the rest of the film that we can’t but guess that the whole story was reworked to give more space to the humility and calmness that the main character so dearly needed in his life. This one is an incredible movie that feels real at every beat and its script is maybe one of the best written of the year: funny, profound and always accurate, this is my favorite argentinian film that I’ve seen in the Bafici and one of the best films of 2013.



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