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quietearth [Celluloid 04.08.09] movie review thriller

Year: 2008
Directors: Albert Arizza
Writers: Albert Arizza
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 5 out of 10

This film had such potential: it was broad, roomy enough to fit almost anything in, but it fell short on the one thing which is notoriously hard to do without, a continuous storyline or more aptly put, extended scenes. Ramirez, a drug dealer by day, serial killer by night, was beautifully shot and perfectly executed by all those involved, except for the guy who penned the script. Imagine dots on a timeline of history, each dot representing a very short escapade always swiftly cut and followed by a massive jump of hours and sometimes days till the next one, and you'll get the gist of the only problem this film had. Yes, I said the only. The acting, photography, dialog (at least translated), ideas, and the ending, all fantastic. Damn.

At one point we see the narrative taking up quite a span of time and I'm thinking yes! We're going to get some story now, only to have my hopes dashed about 20 seconds later as we get a cut at a very inconvenient time to something completely unrelated the next day. These cuts always came in the form of almost random editing, giving barely enough, or nothing at all. The film was frustrating at the minimal, but most likely too ambitious for it's own good. It wanted to span way too much time, and it could of, with about another hour of feature.

Ramirez goes from smooth talking lover boy to killing a girl, his face perfectly displaying a mixture of pleasure and hatred. He buys cocaine, cuts, and distributes it, all the while being selfishy capricious, almost erratic, but he gets his work done. And through all of this you don't end up hating him, it's more like a tolerant nod to a coworker you don't care about. He has friends, but only related to his drug trade, and spends most of his time alone, prowling, brooding.

He lives in a wealthy world in Madrid with a nice, expensive apartment and he comes from money. Why he took this route into crime and depravity we don't know, but we are led to believe it might have something to do with his bedridden mother. His character is ambigious, his drive an enigma.

We only get mere glimpses of his life, backed by some spectacular cinematography starting off with the world blurred but our man Ramirez in focus as he walks the streets of Madrid. At other times darkness will enshroud his face for a period as his prey sits right next to him, but there's a bright realism to most of it as it teeters on the edge of a documentary style. We could almost be there as he picks up a hooker and does her in.

With all this I still come back to the main problem, it just wasn't personal enough. Would I recommend it? Yes, but with misgivings. With a script that was flushed out more, this could have been a real winner.

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