17 January 2018 | NostalgicQuixote
Say No to Drugs
Raters have been harsh on _Sobredosis_. Admittedly, this is not one of the masterpieces of Argentinean cinema; it is not even one of the masterpieces of 80s Argentinean cinema. One must keep in mind, however, the film's narrative purpose: this is, plain and simple, a thesis film.
Fernando Ayala was one of the most prominent Argentinean filmmakers and producers of the 70s and 80s. To him we owe that uniquely Argentinean comedy that is _La fiaca_ (1969), and his collaboration with the iconic Federico Luppi produced such landmarks as _Plata dulce_ (1982) and _El arreglo_ (1983). These films were marked by social commentary, and so is _Sobredosis_, in which Federico Luppi once again incarnates the middle-class Argentinean.
In this film we follow Daniel (Gabriel Lenn), an innocent teenager who experiences the drug addict's typical descent into the abyss. He begins with his mother's medicine cabinet, and is then introduced to progressively more dangerous drugs by a girl he meets (Noemí Frenkel). _Sobredosis_ is a cautionary tale for parents. Federico Luppi and Dora Baret play divorced parents with tragic flaws. Dad is too involved with the soccer club he works for, and repeatedly tries to be his son's pal (arranging sexual encounters for him, for instance) when what Daniel really needs is a father. Mom, for her part, seems to truly care, but it is her habit of popping pills that gets Daniel on a dangerous path in the first place. The title of the film may be a type of spoiler, but then so is the title _Requiem for a Dream_. Most viewers will not expect a happy ending from a film about drugs. The film ends (like _Requiem for a Dream_) with an interesting montage. Without giving away the details, I must say when I saw the last image of the film I could not help thinking about the infamous photo of Videla and company celebrating the Argentinean victory in the 1978 World Cup.
A note for enthusiasts of punk: the film briefly features the pioneering band Los Violadores, playing "Uno, dos, ultraviolento" at the legendary pub Látex. A true document.
How does a nice middle-class kid become involved with drugs? This is the question _Sobredosis_ explores. The answers it provides may be simplistic, but once again, as a thesis film, this one is quite effective.