Save the last orgy for me

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - DON­ALD CLARKE DON­ALD CLARKE

of a vaguely de­fined char­ac­ter, Tur­turro has enough charm and gusto to make his scenes fly.

Fad­ing Gigolo is also charm­ing in its evo­ca­tion of very par­tic­u­lar cor­ners of New York City. Jazz dec­o­rates the sound­track. Charac- ters hang about in brown, de­light­fully clut­tered rooms. An older Jewish man in glasses is for­ever call­ing round to make neb­bish re­marks.

Are we re­minded of the work of an­other film-maker? It’s on the tip of my tongue. Ed­uardo Pala­cios).

When the lad steals a bag of co­caine, he ends up at­tract­ing the hideous wrath of a gang of crooked cops. They break into Heli’s house, kill his fa­ther, tor­ture him and Beto, stran­gle the dog and kid­nap Estela.

Shot with a cool dis­tance, Heli has none of the gooey rel­ish of a Gas­par Noé film. This is a less con­nected cin­ema of cru­elty. But the grad­ual slump to­wards ul­ti­mate moral com­pro­mise – played out to an ap­par­ent quote from John Ford’s The Searchers – is no less grip­ping for all that. The vi­o­lence may be gra­tu­itous, but the anger at so­cial in­equal­ity feels en­tirely sin­cere. Pow­er­ful stuff.

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