Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Rojo (2018)

Benjamin Naishtat's Rojo is a study in creeping ominousness, which looks at the lesser parochial evils that form the foundations of the greater evil of dictatorship.

Set in a made-up small town in Argentina in 1975, just before the Junta took power, the narrative tracks a cluster of incidents in the life of lawyer Claudio, played by Dario Grandinetti as a self-styled person of provincial substance whose moral compass is starting to spin.

Its most unsettling moment is an altercation in a restaurant right at the start and although it does its job in keeping the viewer rattled throughout, we also had the impression that the movie is never better than its opening sequences and that all its thematically-interwoven jitters never quite deliver as a whole.

There’s a Chilean TV detective that livens things up and I wish I had all the cultural references at my fingertips to know how seriously this character ought to be taken. One suspects there's an in joke going down here.

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