PRODS Frédéric Corvez, Clément Duboin, Carlos Reygadas, Diego Vega, Daniel Vega
SCR Manuel Arias, Diego Vega, Daniel Vega
CAM Fergan Chávez-Ferrer
ED Gianfranco Annichini
ART DIR Mario Frías
MUS Oscar Camacho
PROD CO Maretazo cine / Nodream Cinema / Urban Factory
Was it a stray bullet or a botched assassination attempt that left Constantino mute? Fernando Bacilio delivers a towering performance as an obsessed magistrate exceeding the bounds of his powers to get answers. Diego and Daniel Vega combine deadpan existentialism, political satire and slow-burn mystery for a winning combination. The plot is tantalizing: as in classic movie mysteries like The Conversation and Blow Up, the uncertainty extends beyond the identity of the criminal to the very nature of the crime itself.
That Bacilio’s petty civil servant is left mute from the bullet is a situation as funny as it is tragic, given how little he had to say in the first place. His belief in conspiracy over blind chance may be his way of coping with tragedy, or it may be that the attack has given him what he’s wanted his entire life: an all-encompassing purpose and an alibi for his antisocial personality. With its sharp sense of focus, its leisurely pace and its droll, unforced metaphors, the film conjures Beckett: it’s an absurdist thriller. It’s gloomy but never dreary, slow but utterly riveting, and funny in a way that only the smartest artists can pull off.