13 January 2001 | el_monty_BCN
Good, if a bit hyped
The fact that this short film was nominated for an Oscar received such amount of publicity in Spain that Fresnadillo became an overnight star, and the film itself a much-coveted cult piece. For four years, everybody eagerly awaited its follow-up, Intacto, which also became a bit of an unjustified critics' darling.
The truth is that, while Esposados is a clever and stylish little piece, it's nothing extraordinary when compared with the rest of the usual short film production in Spain, which is customarily of quite high quality and contains at least three or four gems of this calibre every year. The unexpected glory even gave the film a sheen of pretentiousness which it probably wasn't looking to have, as it doesn't fit the slightness of its black comedy. Still, this film has many virtues: the quirky camera-work, the brassy music, the very contrasted black and white photography, and the acting, especially by Anabel Alonso, while keeping the tongue firmly in cheek, all contribute to create an atmosphere of growing unease and tension, which is finally loosened in the concluding surprise/punchline; but one would be forgiven for being disappointed if one was expecting the film to be a bit more than just a drawn out joke.