21 October 2007 | jpschapira
What a genius Fito Páez
He's the only one who can make a film like this one, because he's not a genius of cinema, he's a genius of music. However, he didn't even make the music of this movie; Gonzalo Aloras, his guitarist, did. And I'm going to mention that Fito also gave the male lead to Aloras, a guy who had never acted before
You can easily tell.
But what is "De quién es el portaligas?". That is hard to tell. The memories of three girlfriends (Julieta Cardinali, Romina Ricci, Leonora Balcarce) about something that happened in the past but seems very unclear. This is the purpose of the film, which that doesn't present a believable reason for its existence and is not enough for a full-length feature, but it is enough for Fito to show us his dear Rosario and the places he used to go when he was young.
And that's it. The question that the title asks (about female clothing) has no answer, and these mentioned memories suddenly turn into something like dreams; or in Argentinean words, everything becomes a 'quilombo'. That said, this can only happen to Fito, whose direction is not focused and who tries to put every musical style in an incoherent soundtrack (boleros, tangos, rock, pop and even a couple of his songs) that culminates in a scene you would see in a 'western'
That scene it's actually worth seeing if you like Fito.
I'm still thinking if all this disorganization was planned, intentional. I couldn't figure it out, because a mob boss played by Fena della Maggiora appears and the plot stops being understandable, some cuts to black are decisively out of place and some predictable moments are more than ridiculous; but
The performance by della Maggiora is really good, between the cuts to black there are moments of true laughter (the healthy laughter) and the other ridiculous moments are filled by an unexplainable feeling of nostalgia.
This is the feeling that comes from Fito's camera, and the feeling that keeps us watching until the end of the movie. A movie that's well informed, with references to Cassavetes and Antonioni, with great performances by Dario Grandinetti and Lito Cruz in two unexpected characters, a fantastic evocation of a "cheta" (Argentinean word for someone who has money and acts stupidly) by Cardinali and a Romina Ricci who simply steals the show.
"De quién es el portaligas?" is, in the end, delirious (if you want to choose one word); like Fito Páez. Again, it's something you should watch if you like the guy or if you have a deep connection with the city of Rosario. The Almodóvar style and references? You can see them in a couple of shots and in the taxi driver talking to one of the characters, but it's not what Fito wanted to do or be.
It's a shame I haven't seen Fito's other movie, "Vidas Privadas"; I would have written about this film with a different perspective. I'll rent it soon.