El bar [The Bar] (2017)

El bar
Director: Álex de la Iglesia
Writer: Jorge Guerricaechevarría, Álex de la Iglesia
Cast: Blanca SuárezMario CasasCarmen MachiSecun de la RosaJaime OrdóñezTerele PávezJoaquín ClimentAlejandro Awada
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 5.5.2017
[Review by cornholio.]

In a small bar in Madrid run by Amparo (Terele Pávez) and her cook Sátur (Secun de la Rosa), a group of people comes together who couldn’t be more different. They all plan to go their separate ways when a shot rings out in the streets, striking down one of the customers who just left. A rescue attempt also ends deadly. As they don’t dare to leave anymore, they try to figure out what is going on inside the cafe which quickly leads to them turning on each other.

When I saw El Bar at the festival, it hit me at a bad time and I slept a lot during the film. The parts I saw weren’t really to my liking, and my track record with de la Iglesia is spotty to put it mildly. Nevertheless when I saw that the film had hit netflix, I decided to give it another try. Just to be fair. I shouldn’t have bothered.


My first reaction to the film (when I slept through about half of it) was that what I saw was exhausting, stupid and disgusting, spiced up with a whole lot of sexism and a homeless person who mostly ranted crazily and was dangerous, of course. There is nothing in that mix that spoke to me.

When I saw it for the second time, without sleeping for a second, nothing changed except that I found it a whole lot more boring than when I missed half of the film. But it certainly didn’t change my opinion on any of it.

Most of the film consits of mostly unlikeable people fighting with each other over increasingly far-fetched conclusions they draw over practically no data. And then it literally goes to shit. Plus, it ends with the young, pretty woman in her underwear (with many lingering shots, of course)(after a lot of misogynistic statements that came before) and the most tropiest final girl to ever trope.

The full film does give a little context to the homeless person as the ultimate threat, but the fact remains that he is styled to be the villain, not the government that goes around shooting people, nor the weird sickness that remains entirely unclear. And that was just the icing on an entirely problematic cake. It’s safe to say that I pretty much hated the film.

Summarizing: No.

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