Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Caught Tony Manero with CG in a tiny cinema which fits less than 50 people at the ICA yesterday. The only thing I can say about the film is that it's Saturday Night Fever meets American Psycho set in Chile in the '70s. It's depressing, it's disturbing and it's a commentary on Pinochet's rule all at once.

Raul (Alfredo Castro), the 52-year-old aspiring to be Tony Manero, will do anything in order to achieve this goal, whether it's visiting the cinemas every day to watch Saturday Night Fever to installing his own version of a glass dance floor with lights to smashing up a mirror so that he can make his own shiny disco ball (all the way accompanied by random acts of murder). Inexplicably, all the women in his life - his girlfriend, her daughter and the owner of the bar where he works - all love him. I cringed and had to avert my eyes at the scene where he dances and seduces the daughter of his girlfriend right in front of her. She pleads with him not to, but he ignores her and brings her daughter up to his bedroom for what can only be described as appallingly bad sex. In a chilling act of vengeance, she turns her daughter over to the authorities for participating in underground anti-Pinochet activities. Yes, her daughter betrayed her, but did that really warrant that?

I'm not sure I'd recommend this film because it really would depend on whether you have the disposition necessary for watching it. I will say that Castro puts in a strong performance as the dead-eyed, soulless Raul which is chilling to watch.

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