How to Win Enemies is like a crony that can’t utterly be trusted. Witty, busy, well-played and enjoyably twisty over a initial hour, it inveigles a approach into a affections yet afterwards unexpected lets we down in a final act. But prolonged before then, a attracts of this tidily-mounted domestic thriller about a struggles of an Argentinian counsel to replenish his money have finished their mark, and you’re prepared to forgive.
Lichtmann’s entrance Jews in Space was further about family tensions and further a plotline was triggered by a theft. But a similarities finish there: Space was distant some-more anarchic, and distant funnier: a some-more clipped and tranquil feel this time is generally to Enemies’ benefit, yet it could have borrowed only a small of a progressing film’s hint to disencumber things adult a little: this feels like a Daniel Burman film that hasn’t been given adequate room. That said, there’s still adequate going on with rthe actors, a chemistry and a apt plotting to safeguard that Enemies will make friends during home and as new fest play at Chicago and elsewhere has shown, on a fest circuit as well.
Enemies opens with a poignant by deja vu marriage day stage for that many of what follows is background. The early scenes are satisfyingly bustling as they get a family, a family business, and a plotline into place with a tidiness and potency that characterizes a plan as a whole in place Lucas (Martin Slipak) is a dapper, fast-talking Buenos Aires counsel who runs a business along with hunkier furious child hermit Max (Javier Drolas) and Max’s wife-to-be Paulina (Eugenia Capizzano).
It looks like it’s going to be a straight-up Jewish family comedy until Lucas is approached by an attractive, learned blonde claiming to be called Barbara (Ines Palombo) during a bar and they strike it off: they both adore Agatha Christie and the cult investigator novel The American Friend, and Lucas’ dog is called Sherlock. (Yes, it’s all a bit too much.) But after a night of romance, Lucas awakens to find that a €50,000 he’s been saving for a new residence has disappeared, and Barbara with it.
Being a fan of Highsmith and Christie, and not utterly desiring that Barbara can be guilty, Lucas goes in office of a truth: suspects embody association fixer The Pelican (a really watchable Sagrado Sebakis), receptionist Antonella (Paula Rodriguez), and a Wedding Planner (Charo Lopez), all of whom we’ve fleetingly met in those fizzy progressing scenes.
With adroitness and agility, a good understanding of sharp-witted dialogue, and most augmenting paranoia on a partial of Lucas, things pierce towards a consummate that isn’t utterly convincing and a end which, given what’s left before, is disappointingly prosaic in a simple, moralizing reaffirmation of downhome family values. At only 78 minutes, this is a brief film and it ends too shortly — both in a clarity that it leaves we wanting more, yet also in a clarity that things hang adult too fast and dissatisfyingly. There’s a whole lot some-more intensity in a initial partial of a book than a second partial knows how to exploit.
That said, Enemies is mostly pleasant too. The comfortable, easy slit of a performances, always trustworthy and never over-emphatic, lend a plan an attractively gentle air: this is a plausible family, and Slipak is quite clever as a aspiring yet likeable Lucas, someone who finds a universe an awkwardly whimsical place to be. The dialogues are quality, with a midway, still betrayal stage in a library between Ana (Carla Quevedo) and Lucas a indication of how these things should be finished (though how propitious it is that a mechanism complement in a library should not be operative on that sold day).
Production companies: MC Producciones, Domenica Films, La Lechuza Cine Casa
Cast: Martin Slipak, Javier Drolas, Ines Palombo, Eugenia Capizzano, Gabriela Izcovich, Fabian Arenillas
Director: Gabriel Lichtmann
Screenwriters: Gabriel Lichtmann, Viviana Vexlir
Producer: Jose Oscar Salva
Director of photography: Diana Garay Vinas
Production designer: Yamila Fontan
Editor: Agustin Rolandelli
Composer: Diego Voloschin
Sales: Domenica Films
No rating, 78 minutes