Santiago de Chile, 1978. In the midst of the tough social context of Pinochets dictatorship, Raúl Peralta, a man in his fifties, is obsessed with the idea of impersonating Tony Manero, John Travoltas character in Saturday Night Fever.
Raúl leads a small group of dancers regularly performing at a bar located in the outskirts of the city. Every Saturday evening, he unleashes his passion for the films music by imitating his idol. His dream of being recognized as a successful showbiz star is about to become a reality when the national television announces a Tony Manero impersonating contest. His urge to reproduce his idols likeness drives him to commit a series of crimes and thefts. In the meantime, his dancing partners, who are involved in underground activities against the regime, are persecuted by the government’s secret police.
Tony Manero is a story about loss of identity and obsession in the recent Chilean history. —IMDb
Pablo Larraín was born in 1976 in Santiago, Chile, where he studied audiovisual communication at UNIACC University. He is a founding member of Fabula, a production company producing feature films, television and commercials. In 2005, he directed his first feature film Fuga. In 2007 Pablo Larraín made his second feature film, Tony Manero. The film received its world premiere in May 2008 in the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. Post Mortem is his third feature film. —cinemadautor.cat
The streets of late '70s Santiago down which Raul struts, looking more like Pacino than Travolta, exude a menace superficially similar but different in kind to the New York streets of the same period as depicted in SNF. The distinct, police-state nature of the city's sense of threat cuts Raul's swagger with furtiveness and fear; his impotence and violence recapitulate national catastrophe as personal breakdown.
Because I was so transfixed by the Dostoevskian dark humor that the main character exhibits, I somehow missed it was a political film on the first viewing. After the second reading I was deep into reading all about Operación Cóndor. Excellent film: entertaining and able to get me to hit the history books.
An extraordinary incursion in the potential of historical fiction that bypasses dates, landmarks and heroes to show history from within.
Nelson Kim for Hammer to Nail: "Pablo Larraín follows up his acclaimed Tony Manero with the same production team, the same lead actor (the
"Pablo Larraín is a Chilean director whose feature Tony Manero (2007) revived the memory of John Travolta and Saturday Night Fever in the