8 January 2002 | raymond-15
Having lost his job at the fish factory, Juilo (Eduardo Noriega) now on the dole needs some cash to set up a new project with his pal Alfonso in Madrid. Things look pretty grim until Julio discovers a bag of stunning jewellery in a car parked in bushes just off the highway. The driver is already dead at the wheel. A gentle push after releasing the brakes and the car hurtles down into the sea. The plan now is to lie low for awhile and then turn the jewels into much-needed cash.
What I like so much about this drama is that no time is wasted. The story begins to unfold immediately. Julio's simple plan shows signs of amateur inexperience. He makes some stupid moves. Renting a room at 11 PM at Marie's (locally known as the French woman) immediately creates suspicion about his motives. Julio is very uneasy with Marie's probing questions and realises she is aware of his intentions. This is an interesting part of the story in which each tries to discover how much the other knows. Marie is clearly the winner in this contest because she has the power of seduction on her side. Julio melts at the sight of this older and experienced woman. The sex scenes are convincing.
When the lovers become partners in the disposal of the jewels through Ricardo, Julio finds himself getting into deep water. Mounting fear of being discovered drives him into desperate action. The French woman cleverly manipulates Julio to execute her plans. Despite his guilt we have a certain empathy for young Julio, but not so for Ricardo who drives a hard bargain. The character of Ricardo I feel is overplayed and some of the final sequences turn into utter melodrama. Apart from these minor points I find little fault with this entertaining film. As it twists and turns the story is quite compelling; and although we may anticipate some of the action, the journey to the final scene is quite worthwhile.
FOOTNOTE: Is Edouardo Noriega Spain's answer to American Tom Cruise?