Directed by: Alejandro Agresti | 90 minutes | drama | Actors: Monica Galan, Julieta Cardinali, Carlos Roffe, Ulises Dumont, Lidia Catalano, Mex Urtizberea, Augustina Noya, Rodrigo Noya, Eduardo Arganaraz
The director tries to make the spectator think about how the Argentines are connected to the love for their country in the middle of the reality of their recent past with the dictatorship. The film aims to portray the consequences for an individual victim of the former military regime in Argentina. The question is whether the director has succeeded in this. The story begins with a good mood drawing of Isabel and her two daughters’ journey to the quiet seaside town. How do you tune in to a father you’ve never seen? What do you say to a man who has been away for twenty years and wants to forget you?
Outside the bathing season, these types of places are usually quiet and desolate. The accompanying greyness and sadness of such a town is in itself well taken. The backlash and gossip of the local population, well represented in the walk-on roles, is credible and gives a good idea of the place where he built his reclusive existence. According to the women, poor Cholo has of course been treated unfairly by his bad wife in the past.
The initial good feeling with this film is quickly lost. The whole thing just ripples on, without anything happening that gives meaning to the story. Contributing to this is that the music mainly consists of sweet strings, which does not exactly give an extra injection to the atmosphere. Initial contact with a member of the local population is positive. Isabel and daughters get to know the local music teacher, the ideal son-in-law type, who obviously likes the beautiful daughter Sonia. After that it all gets a bit clichéd. The story tells itself unconvincing and credible. The content is simple anyway, characters are hardly explored. That makes it highly predictable to proceed. Cholo lives in his own fictional world and recognizes his wife, but continue to talk to his customers in the full bakery shop. He actually no longer wants to acknowledge its existence, that past has been closed.
Besides the roles of the two daughters, the other roles are actually not very clear. The connection to the military dictatorship, which Cholo suffered so much, is given some form in the person of the sympathetic local flight instructor who has a past as an air force pilot. It all doesn’t really want to take root. The way in which this story works towards an end comes across as artificial. Cholo is nevertheless moved by a letter from Sonia to him. In the end, everything turns out fine in this story that leans towards some melodrama.