The assailant from the title is a respectable man in his fifties, a virtuoso performance by Arturo Goetz. He is a strange and charming assailant; And why does he take an unhealthy interest in schools? In this exciting film, almost in real time, the debutant Fendrik (former assistant to Agresti) shuffles along behind him.
An aging man, wearing a suit, is followed live during three planned robberies. Two succeed and the third one fails. A waitress crosses his path and the result is a confrontation. The plot is sober and remains enigmatic, because the deeper motives of the robber are not explained.
For his first feature film, Pablo Fendrik worked with a small crew and with the most flexible camera available. Almost without words, with the exception of a few trivial dialogues, The Mugger is a visually guided dramatic sensation. The film does not so much offer a cognitive experience, but primarily allows the viewer to experience the tension physically. Fendrik plays a subtle game and allows the camera to make the viewer an accessory to the protagonist as it were, by showing the film from his point of view, while the man himself also remains visible. In this way, the viewer is both an accessory and observer bringing the fear, despair and action very close. The robber knows that in the end his life is on the line and the audience feels that too.
Fendrik worked on location and made grateful use of the specific dramatic opportunities of that. Crew and actor only had a few pages of basic information in their hands, the rest of the film has been improvised. Less is more in the case of Fendrik. The Mugger shows that restrictions you impose on yourself can lead to inventive cinema. –IFFR