11 May 2007 | lost-in-limbo
The full moon is high tonight.
Police Inspector Manuel has transferred from Bilbao, to this quiet little town after his wife had a nervous breakdown. However it's not so peaceful, as there's a senselessly cold-hearted child murderer at large and he heads the investigation. After asking information from the dead girl's teacher Susana, soon enough they seem to hit it off and the pair get into a cosy relationship, where sparks ignite old forgotten feelings. After another attack on a young girl, this case really starts to change and effect Manuel's frame of mind.
A progressively slow-burn Spanish thriller, which likes to concentrate on the personalities and their drive to fit in with life. These are souls who are facing the same problems of loneliness, and the expectations they have put on themselves/or by others. While, an articulate script gives the characters well-rounded depictions and situations plenty of depth, it still doesn't hide the fact on how banal it can get. I found these latter moments to strike a chord with the flourishing romance between the Inspector Manuel and teacher Susana. Sure it's an important plot device for the inner workings of the central character, but during these moments the already snails pace seems to drag to a rocky halt. Wordy dialogues are largely produced. Even with its deep and heart-aching exploration, I didn't find it to be emotionally gripping and it could have benefited from some brazen psychological imprints. My interest seemed to fade in spots. A bleakly charged atmosphere of apprehension works it way into graceful looking locations. Fluidly picturesque camera-work takes hold and a stirring music score deftly tickles along. Imanol Uribe's slickly realised and subdued direction can fall into many monotonous stages. The plodding and dreary pace is of course deliberate, but there's nothing heightening those moments to make you feel anything else. The raw, substance-bound performances are mainly a dolorous lot. Miguel Ángel Solá gives a superb tormented and burnt-out performance as Inspector Manuel. Adriana Ozores creates a certain backbone to her character Susana, and she would rekindle the hope in Manuel. Out of the cast, it's the outstanding performance of Juan Diego Botto who stands out head-over-heals, as the increasingly unsettling and depressed looking weasel murderer Asesino. He manages to construct a complex character, of hate and desperation with those paranoid ravings and unsocial habits. The story from the get-go doesn't hide the fact, on just who's the killer.
Exceptionally made and well-acted, but the story and script could've used some tightness instead of flabby distractions.