19 September 2007 | jpschapira
Accomplishing a duty...
It looks more like Darín felt he had to make "La señal" than Darín wanted to do "La señal". Luckily, the film was not made in a rush, but this doesn't mean that it doe looks incomplete. Clearly, Darín felt moved by the project and the idea of paying tribute to the deceased Eduardo Mignona, but he could have helped in many other ways without even sitting in the director's chair. He had collaboration (Martín Hodara), but this is not the movie he had to do as his directing debut, and I'm saying it to defend him.
He's said in interviews lately that he was not completely satisfied with the result, and you can tell why if you watch the film. I'm not saying don't watch it
The story of two detective partners (Darín and Diego Peretti, who's starting to annoy me a bit), "La Señal" captures perfectly the period in which the work and adventures of these men take place (the 50's, time of Peron's government); it has an obscure cinematography that's interesting because it makes us want to look back at movies like France's film-noir and other classic police stories; it has a really good original score and some moments where opera music accentuates the drama immensely and it features a wonderful performance by Darín and an even better work by Julieta Díaz as a 'femme fatale'.
But there are a lot of things on the downside. The script (based on Mignona's homonymous novel an credited as Mignona's but with a lot of other hands in it) is so obvious and contains things that are really out of place and bring nothing to the film; it also creates a moment of tension where the two detectives hint that something ('a sign', the English translation for the title) will change their lives. I, as a passionate viewer, started to wait for that something, for that moment; but I waited in vain because the movie never begins to flow.
Besides, there's a constant depressing tone that makes the characters look as if they were in a trance. Somehow, and this is a bad thing to say, the film manages to pass this feeling on to us and, between the trance and the slow and far from credible development of the investigations, we contemplate the chance of falling asleep.
This is made worse by the fact that there are not many characters and, except for some scenes, Buenos Aires looks like a completely empty city
Like if the only characters that have to be in a certain place at a certain time are there; but nobody else exists.
I'm sure Mignona's widow and family must be proud with the result of "La señal", but I hope that when Darín sits on the director's chair again, he chooses something better