Release Date: March 21st, 2007 (Two Boots Pioneer Theater) by Koch Lorber Films.
The Cast: Gastón Pauls, Pablo Ribba, César Albarracín, Hugo Carrizo, Virginia Innocenti, Juan Leyrado, Arturo Bonín, Jon Lucas, Mario Chaparro.
Directed by Tristán Bauer.
In English and Spanish with subtitles.
BASIC PREMISE: Estabán (Pauls) recalls his experiences in the Falklands War of 1982 with his comrade, Vargas (Ribba), who lays comatose in a hospital after attempting suicide twenty years later.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: This gripping, absorbing drama has enough powerful war scenes to merit its Best Narrative Feature prize at the 2006 Tribeca International Film Festival among prizes at other film festivals. During the opening scenes, 40-year-old Estabán comes to the hospital bed of his comatose friend, Vargas, who recently attempted suicide because of his post-war trauma. He hasn’t seen him since they both fought together for Argentina against the British during the Falklands War of 1982 on the Malvinas islands. The majority of the film shows the horrors of the war through flashbacks and establishes the wartime camaraderie between Estabán, Vargas and, another soldier, Juan (Albarracín), who died in battle. It turns out that Vargas had an argument with his girlfriend prior to departing for the war. While recalling these events by Vargas’ hospital bedside, Estabán meets Vargas’ wife, Marta (Innocenti), and, naturally, tries to console her. Despite a very convincing performance by Gastón Pauls, these present-day scenes, admittedly, feel less compelling and real compared to all of the flashback scenes. Co-writer/director Tristán Bauer does an outstanding job of making the war scenes frightening and intense with appropriately gritty cinematography. He wisely humanizes the Argentinean soldiers so that you truly care about them, which, in turn, allows you to be fully absorbed by the many intense dramatic scenes.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It takes a lot of emotional courage for Estabán to come to terms with the horrors he experienced during the Falklands War. Moreover, by paying his respects to his currently comatose friend, Vargas, he proves to be true friend through thick and thin. The most moving scenes, though, are in the end when Estabán actually visits the ruins of Malvinas, the place where he and Vargas fought during the war that changed their lives forever.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Equally absorbing, gripping and heartbreaking.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater
The "B" Menu