When Jorge, a hardworking family man who’s barely making ends meet, gets mugged by Kalule, a neighborhood delinquent, Jorge’s son decides to confront the attacker, only to get himself shot. After Kalule is given a minimal sentence, a violent chain of events is set in motion…
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Though it's in fact set in the years before 27th February 2010, this works as an evocation of post-earthquake Chile - sordid, bureaucratic, precarious, dehumanised and hence depressing. Fernández speaks to me far more than the country's genre flicks which, even when well made, invariably deal with the privileged wealthy minority and/or first-world tourists.
Shades of the Coen Brothers at their darkest. a thug steals a man's diabetes test, as it's the only thing he has that might possibly be sold at a profit, then goes after his kids. The man, Jorge, finally gets revenge. Quietly suspenseful, the movie shows just what it takes to push an ordinary man to violence, as well as the price exacted. Fine acting by Daniel Candia as Jorge.
Fairly cut and dried revenge flick. Nothing we have not seen before. Decent performances and great cinematography but the final 20 or so minutes drag on for what seems forever. Don't understand the high praise - it certainly doesn't deserve it.
"A grim, fat-free revenge thriller ... bearing some of the eerie social disquiet of pre-eminent Chilean auteur Pablo Larrain’s work, though with less symbolic sophistication and political subtext." - Guy Lodge, Variety. For some reason I was unsettled by the dead center framing of nearly every scene and only reluctantly accept the ending. Positives: the film's score and lead's performance. 3.5 stars