22 April 2012 | ma-cortes
Spanish thriller about a retired agent who returns Spain to carry out a deadly assignment against a traitor
Ambitious thriller with acceptable atmosphere and nice production , though falls flat and is regularly developed . Based on a known novel written by Antonio Muñoz Molina , being adapted by also director Mario Camus . Madrid , 1962 , more than twenty years after the civil war has finished , a retired communist agent and ex-captain nicknamed Darman (Terence Stamp) is living in Carborough , England . He is sent to Polonia , there receives instructions and comes back to Spain . He is assigned to pull off a dangerous mission to kill a ¨topo¨ or infiltrated in the underground Communist Party ; he is named Andrade (Simon Andreu) , a traitor who informs about communists , being subsequently executed . In the process, he goes to ¨Tabu Boute¨ where meets a pretty girl (Patsy Kensit) who he believes could help her but this only further complicates issues . Meanwhile , a Police inspector named Valdivia (Jose Luis Gomez) is investigating the killings .
Thrilling film about Noir cinema with suspense , plot twists but slowing paced and ultimately turns out to be boring . The story fails when deals with historical-politician deeds , including a flawed screenplay and a confuse and embarrassing finale . Furthermore , a badly developed love story among both protagonists Stamp and Kensit . Casting is frankly excellent , with plenty of good English actors as Terence Stamp , Geraldine Jones , John McEnery as well as Spanish players : Simon Andreu , Pedro Diaz Corral , Carlos Hipolito , Francisco Casares and Jose Luis Gomez in a double role . Gorgeous Patsy Kensit acting as a femme fatale who plays an erotic show number , a Gilda-alike , with nudism included . Fine production design and scenarios with appropriate sets . Colorful cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe who subsequently would make a prestigious career in Hollywood . Stirring and suspenseful musical score composed and conducted by Jose Nieto .
The motion picture is middlingly directed by Pilar Miro . In 1982 Pilar was designated General Director of Cinema . She was an expert filmmaker of Television chapters and occasionally for cinema , getting some successes such as ¨The dog in the manger or El Perro del Hortelano¨, ¨The bird of happiness¨ , ¨Werther¨ and especially ¨The Cuenca crime¨ . ¨Beltreneros¨ resulted to be a flop and failed at the box office , in spite of an international cast , spectacular set production and enjoyable atmosphere . Rating : Average .