Director: Natalia Meta
Writer: Natalia Meta
Based on: C.E. Feiling’s novel El mal menor
Cast: Erica Rivas, Daniel Hendler, Mirta Busnelli, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Cecilia Roth, Agustín Rittano, Guillermo Arengo
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 23.10.2020
Inés (Erica Rivas) and her boyfriend Leopoldo (Daniel Hendler) are going on a holiday together. But the trip that should be idyllic is anything but and Inés returns home unable to cope. Her works – she is a singer and a voice actor – soon starts to suffer as she can’t hit the right notes anymore. As things become stranger and stranger, Inés starts to doubt that her voice issues are psychosomatic. Maybe something more is going on here.
El Prófugo is an entertaining film that meanders between being creepy and being funny. The middle part has some weaknesses, but overall, I had fun with this one.
The beginning of the film – Inés and Leopoldo on their holiday – was probably the strongest part of it, mostly because Leopoldo was the distillation of such an asshole (and borderline abusive to boot) and Hendler plays him with such gusto, it was by turns insufferable and just really, really creepy. You fear the worst – but then something else happens that I didn’t expect at all.
It was a strong opening and the movie could keep the momentum from it for a while, but around the middle it started to drag and it lost me for a little while. Fortunately, it gathers steam again for the finale and managed to draw me back in, making absolutely up for this little lag. Though I have to say that I thought that the very end was a little too neat and too predictable. Still, it was fun.
I liked the setting in the sound studio – I found that very interesting. And since music is such a big part of Inés’ life, it was especially great that the soundtrack is really good – especially the final song had me bouncing in my seat.
Overall, this probably isn’t going to be a favorite of mine, but it was very enjoyable and I had fun watching it, so I’d still say it is a clear win.