At the End of the Tunnel
Al final del tunel
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
A paraplegic engineering technician (Leonardo Sbaraglia) rents out a room in his large Buenos Aires home to a young exotic dancer (Clara Lago) and her silent six-year-old daughter. One day, while in his basement workshop, he hears voices discussing nefarious deeds. He puts a mini-camera into a hole he drills through the wall and rigs up a tape machine to record what is going on. A bank heist is being planned, and a gang is digging a tunnel, which passes directly beneath his basement. Revelation number one: while observing the gang one day, his new tenant appears, and it is obvious she is the leader’s girlfriend…
From Reservoir Dogs and Rear Window to The Maltese Falcon, Shallow Grave and every heist movie ever made about digging a tunnel to get into a bank vault, the implicit and explicit references that writer-director Rodrigo Grande draws on for this vastly entertaining—and occasionally quite nasty—thriller come from all of film history. And Grande has visual style to burn—his camera is perpetually tracking in, out or side to side to draw us deeper and deeper into the action. Anchored by excellent performances from Sbaraglia in an extremely physically demanding role and Argentinean great Federico Luppi as the criminal mastermind (a Mr. Gutman, no less), At the End of the Tunnel has enough plot twists and reversals to keep even the most seasoned thriller aficionados guessing.
"An expertly paced caper film with enough twists and turns to keep audiences in a heightened state of suspense."—Variety
Best Film, Best Director, Seattle 17