Chilean Cinema 2013 #27: Iglú (2013)

(Chile 2013 85m) Cine Hoyts La Reina

p Carlos Núñez, Gabriela Sandoval, Shawn Garry d Diego Ruiz w Diego Ruiz, Shawn Garry c Nicolás Ibieta ed Gustavo Silva s Sebastián Vergara

a Diego Ruiz, Alejandro Goic, Alessandra Guerzoni, Camila Hirane

The little movie that wanted to be great, but couldn’t. That could be the film’s tagline, as it is what I went through when I was watching this particular film debut from a famous television actor that has made the jump to the movies in a strange fashion, starring himself in the protagonist role (as in many other famous debuts that I won’t compare it to). I was so sad most of the time that the choices weren’t better, that the acting wasn’t a bit more adjusted, that the editing wasn’t a complete mess, that the movie had any sense of actual moviemaking expertise instead of being just a pose, or an illusion of how movies really are, when they’re not the mess that this movie ends up to be. This is what happens when a vanity project suddenly becomes something nasty, that the guy who is making it will make no concessions and won’t listen to anyone else on how to make his film, and even when they tell him that he’s doing something really wrong, he won’t listen, because I can’t really understand how this movie managed to get to theaters in the state that it is right now without anyone saying something about how the film experience is absolutely unrewarding. For some strange reason, the film mixes up and alternates between two different timelines/states in which the main character lives in, in one he is really depressed, and in the other he has overcome that sickness and has become ‘sane’, so you can see the problem here, we loose interest on seeing how he became better on the struggle, once we know that the outcome is positive, we see the results, who cares about what happened, there’s no tension there, no narrative that is actually of use.

There are some great things here though, at its core it’s maybe the most honest portrayal of the feelings and troubles/tribulations of a gay man in Chile today. There are powerful moments in which he remembers when he told his parents about his sexual condition, or when he finally gets the chance to have sex with another man after his terrible break up (that is the moment where the movie starts, when he manages to snap out of the horrible relationship in which he was in for the past few years), and the confusion, as well as the body functions, how the mind works just as well as any other of us, his problems are common and maybe the most interesting approach to the sexuality in a long long time in the Chilean cinema and maybe world cinema. I just wished that the movie was a bit more thought out, wish that you could see something of real value, something that I could show outside and tell that ‘this is what my country makes, and it’s relevant to the rest of the world’. Right until now, I’ve only been able to acknowledge great films from my country, but can I really say that they are relevant to the rest of the world? Of course, there are films that advance the state of Chilean cinema internationally but that actually are of little use to the modern state of our national cinema, but then comes something that is completely the opposite, that is irrelevant to the world, but that is so important to the chilean cinema that I can’t help but give it the best marks I can. No one will care, but I don’t care about them either. I wish this movie was one or the other, but it doesn’t achieve the greatness that it has to achieve for it to be viewable and commendable outside of Chile, and inside, and specially because of its release, it’s really harmful of the way that lobbying and how a pretty face with a famous name can sell a movie on its own.

I’m not saying that I regret seeing it, maybe I’m too rough (you’ll see my final rating below), but all the things that I’ve said are because I truly wished that this movie was better, I wished that the movie would somehow stopped being so broken all the time, I wished that the cringe-worthy acting from some performers would stop, I wished that the movie would make something, bring an emotion, but a simple technical failure and some miscasting was all that this needed to crumble down and loose all respect that it could’ve had. It’s sad. It will do good in LGBT festivals for sure, but beyond that, I don’t see any interest, besides its pedestrian film language, here Diego Ruiz shows no real promise as a filmmaker, but as an actor, well, we’re talking about something else.



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