Directed by: Gonzalo Tobal | 113 minutes | crime, drama | Actors: Lali Espósito, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Inés Estévez, Daniel Fanego, Gerardo Romano, Gael García Bernal, Martina Campos, Laura Casalongue, Debora Dejtiar, Ana Garibaldi, Margarita Molfino, Lautaro Rodríguez, Ricardo Truppel, Emilio Vodanovich
You’ll only be charged with the murder of your best friend when you’re 18. Yet that is exactly what happens to the stunning high school student Dolores Dreier in the Argentine thriller drama ‘Acusada’. After a party where Dolores was also present, the body of her best friend is found. Under the blood. The last present in that house was our Dolores. And then it turns out that the girlfriends had a big bone in advance about a leaked sex video.
‘Acusada’ begins 2.5 years after the murder, when the trial of Dolores is about to begin. We follow the final preparations for the trial, Dolores’s appearance in the media, the loving and difficult relationship with her relatives and the chats with her lawyer.
‘Acusada’ has a dual focus that fits well with the thriller-drama genre. Primarily, the film examines whether or not Dolores is guilty of the murder and, if innocent, who did it. The second thing the film zooms in on is the spectacle that every major crime case gets bogged down in these days. From the sickly curiosity of fellow citizens to the equally sickly attention of the media, everything we see happening in the Netherlands comes through here.
There is nothing wrong with this concept, but the execution leaves much to be desired. As a thriller, the film lacks the necessary progress. Slowly, very slowly, it all becomes a little clearer, and then. Rarely is a new point of departure found, seldom a new suspect comes into play, seldom do we have those nice and sharp police interrogations that we can expect from a little thriller.
Also when it comes to the depiction of the process and the accompanying spectacle, the film leaves the viewer on a limb. The film always follows the beaten track, and we hardly see anything of the influence such a process must have on family and environment. In addition, the character Dolores is rather pale, there is hardly any development in her character and there is no dramatic progress. Which means ‘Acusada’ is still not an annoying film, but it doesn’t make us very enthusiastic.