Crónica de una Fuga plays like a feature-length version of the Beastie Boys’s “Sabotage” video, except the film’s zealous foregrounding of polyester, facial hair, and wallpaper is not meant to be funny. The setting is Buenos Aires 1977, though it could just as easily be Williamsburg today, with a bunch of dudes hauled off to a foreboding, plantation-style manse and violently groomed into hipsters by government-sanctioned assholes—all wearing the Hot Rod promotional mustache I got in the mail last week. It’s easy to scoff at the film because the story is presented by director Israel Adrián Caetano with minimal context and excess amounts of period detail. As Claudio Tamburrini (Rodrigo de la Serna), a goalie for a B-league soccer team, grows progressively skinnier and hairier inside the Mansión Seré, where other men have also been detained and punished for crimes never specified to the audience, a slasher-movie sensibility takes over, mostly on the soundtrack but also in the way characters are laid out across the screen like the twins from The Shining. Never useful, profound, or affecting as a study of innocence-lost or shifting alliances within a prison colony, the film becomes a nailbiter as an escape procedural, with Claudio and his crew slipping out of the Mansión Seré, which bears a striking resemblance to Leatherface’s millennium-era pad, in the nude. There is at least one great scene, in which an escapee regresses into a teary-eyed baby at the sight of his father, pointing to a boo-boo on his head before the older man pays scary but trite lip service to the politics of the time, and Caetano taps into the feeling of closeness a hostage situation rouses, though I wonder if one’s sympathy for these guys would have been the same if their escape wasn’t staged as a perpetual threat to their tallywackers.
- IFC First Take and The Weinstein Company
- 104 min
- Israel Adrián Caetano
- Israel Adrián Caetano, Esteban Studen, Julián Loyola
- Rodrigo de la Serna, Nazareno Casero, Lautaro Delgado, Matías Marmorato, Pablo Echarri
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