15 May 2006 | southerland-1
A dark drama about deeply troubled criminals fighting over what's theirs.
True, this movie is about Spanish low-lives. The plot is strange and not especially harrowing either. But these drawbacks are blown away by the quality of Bardem and the other actors' performances. There is something mesmerizing about the interaction between the characters that, and it's a shame, will be inevitably lost when viewed with dubs or subtitles. Bardem delivers a perfect performance as a troubled alcoholic hoodlum and definitely makes it come alive. This movie is first and foremost about interplay of characters, and that part of it is amazing. It's rewarding through several viewings, though no one is going to be blown away by the storyline. No need to be angry about how the Spaniards must pander to the white majority in Europe and America, Bardem proves he can impress no matter what role he plays, and any fan of cinema should be able to see it plain as day.