There’d bet­ter be a plan B

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM -


Di­rected by Ana Piter­barg. Star­ring Viggo Mortensen, Soledad Vil­lamil, Daniel Fanego, Javier Godino Club, IFI, Dublin, 118 min Ev­ery­body has a plan, and yet there’s lit­tle sem­blance of same in the fi­nal act of Ana Piter­barg’s oth­er­wise su­pe­rior Ar­gen­tine crime thriller. Oh dear. And it all starts so well, too.

There’s a win­ning touch of Dead Ringers in the neat po­lar­ity of the film’s cen­tral twin­ship. The two broth­ers (played with no lit­tle aplomb by Viggo Mortensen) are Agustin and Pe­dro. The for­mer is a pe­di­a­tri­cian liv­ing in Buenos Aries with a do­mes­tic part­ner ( The Se­cret in Their Eyes’ Soledad Vil­lamil), who is keen to adopt a baby. We’re soon all too aware of Agustin’s dis­com­fort at the no­tion of this fa­mil­ial ex­pan­sion. There are hints, too, of a his­tory of de­pres­sion and gen­eral do­mes­tic dis­sat­is­fac­tion.

The sec­ond sib­ling, Pe­dro, is a rugged, earthy bee­keeper liv­ing out in the law­less, wa­tery wilds of Ar­gentina’s Paran Delta re­gion, the place where he was born.

It re­quires a sur­pris­ing se­quence of events to lure Agustin back to his an­ces­tral home. His at­tempts to im­per­son­ate Pe­dro are met with sus­pi­cion from Adrin, a bully from child­hood now grown into the same genus of Freudian mon­ster as Blue Velvet’s Frank. The hive soon pro­vides hints and ad­di­tional com­men­tary on the plot.

Di­rec­tor Ana Piter­barg’s screen­play (co-writ­ten with Anna Co­han) sets out a great-look­ing stall. The di­rec­tion is deft: men­ace hangs thick in the air, steely greys dom­i­nate the land­scape, the film-mak­ers’ com­mend­ably tac­tile sen­si­bil­ity

Death, where is thy sting: bee­keeper Viggo Mortensen

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