4 October 2010 | ma-cortes
Violent and riveting prison movie with outstanding performances and fine direction
Tense and intriguing Spanish thriller mostly located into a prison with exception some flashbacks about private life of protagonist (Alberto Ammann) along with his wife (Marta Etura) . Good film that shows realism and truth without falling into the clichés of the genre . This powerful and very well directed prison movie contains thought-provoking drama , thrills , chills , suspenseful and lots of violence . With an excellent cast , including sensational acting from the magnificent starring Alberto Ammann as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal , suffering an emotional brutalization who causes an explosion of violence and of course a perfect Luis Tosar who steals the show as tough and violent Malamadre . The tale of two men on different sides of a prison riot , the prisoner nicknamed Malamadre (Luis Tosar) leading the rebellion and the young warden caught in the revolt named Juan Oliver (Ammann), who poses as an inmate in a desperate attempt to survive the violent events . The first day when Juan begins working on his new job as a prison warden , is caught in a prison riot . He then decides to impersonate another prisoner to save his life and to end the revolt . Later on , terrible deeds happen and fury and revenge emerge . As Juan trapped in a world that does not belong and forgotten his fateful fate , erupts into an explosion of self-defensive violence showed on some breathtaking scenes .
This exciting picture results to be an intense thriller that packs tension , straightforward intrigue , sober drama, and lots of violence . The film contains thrills and chills and is quite entertaining because being a laborious and intriguing suspense tale full of twists and turns . In the picture there are violence , drama , tension and a little bit of action in the final confrontation . The story contains a statement about inmate's mistreating , despair , betrayal and a strong criticism of the ruling class, unable to control a dangerous situation . Most part of the movie takes place into four walls of the jail involving and executing the preparatives of strict conditions demanded by the inmates . Highlighting the newcomer actor Alberto Ammann , giving a lesson in how he is able to withstand the weight of the flick and stand up to a great actor like Luis Tosar , making a memorable work as dreaded Malamadre , without falling into the prison movie clichés . Furthermore , an excellent support cast as the nasty informer Carlos Bardem (Juan Bardem's brother) and Antonio Resines as sadist and corrupt warden who uses unthinkable brutality . This is a perfectly realized and superbly crafted film .
Interesting and thrilling screenplay by Jorge Guerricaechevarria (Eloy De Iglesia's usual screenwriter) though full of offensive stereotypes and not faithful to deeds . Appropriate cinematography by Carlos Gusi (Torrente, Box 507) who photographs splendidly the cold interiors from Zamora prison . Adequate and atmospheric musical score by Roque Baños (Fragiles, Machinist, Sexy beast, 800 bullets). The motion picture was stunningly directed by Daniel Monzon , a former cinema reviewer , he undertakes a skill and fascinating filmmaking with some sensationalist touch though is also intensely manipulative against prison guards ; this is his main big success . He previously directed fantasy (Heart of warrior) , comedy (Biggest robbery never told) and suspense (The Kovak box). Rating : Good , better than average. The film will appeal to prison genre buffs and Luis Tosar fans.