Wednesday, October 12, 2011


10th Spanish Film Festival
Cinema 1, Greenbelt 3

A shroud of mysterious secrets and hidden lies permeates throughout this intriguing family drama set in the capital of France. Víctor who is based in Argentina arrives in Paris to visit his ailing father, Max. It turns into a family reunion as his mother and his older siblings along with their respective families take turns taking care of Max at the hospital.

But when Max issues his son with a deathbed request, Víctor is quickly drawn into an investigation of his father's past. Hesitantly playing detective, he gradually unravels his family's hidden histories.

Despite the slow pacing of the film, this poignant thriller succeeds in keeping us hanging on by the edge of our seats. The interspersed subplots raise the emotional stakes. While the quest to unravel the truth behind Max's ramblings increases with each crescendo of the foreboding and often quite creepy music score.

Credible performances make the subplots interesting, but there are also scenes which seem to have no point. Footage which should have been edited to make the plot more coherent. The cinematography is vividly visualized as Parisian scenes brighten the otherwise dark and bleak story line of a dying man's last and very remorseful wishes to make amends with his haunted past.

But still the movie makes good points on how the past influences the present, how present desires can remold past actions and how betrayal breeds betrayal. You'll walk away from this movie having once again learned the lesson that it's always better to tell the truth because it'll come out eventually anyway. And sometimes when it is revealed it might be too late to make amends!

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