September 21, 2010

Foreign Film Alert: El Rey De La Montana

I like to imagine real life hyper intense situations that I would never ever want to be in. These include but are not limited to what would happen if the planet became froze over, if every electronic device on the planet stopped working, or I had to go without watching Bad Boys 2 every two months. The Spanish film "El Rey De La Montana" is an excellent film about a hyper intense situation. It's short, terrifying, and smart and deserves your viewing if you are into this type of movie.

The story is simple, Quim, the guy running on the left is traveling in through the mountainous region north of Madrid. Out of nowhere his car is shot at by unseen snipers and he and another woman whom previously robbed him in a gas station bathroom quickie (hey, those Spaniards love to get down) must try to escape. Most of the film focuses on them running through the countryside as they evade the shooters.

However in the third act the film shifts and the narrative shifts to the assailants. This shift is marked by a drastically different style of directing which clearly has a lot to say about the current state of media, in particular, video games. Director  Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, smartly resists turning these final scenes into standard thriller fodder and instead goes for the emotional impact. Translation, this film never becomes some cliched "Hunter becomes the hunted" Hollywood business.

This film came out about 2 years ago, but I didn't hear about until recently when it appeared in this LA TIMES article. I really enjoyed the film and I recommend it to anybody who's looking for a tense thriller, particularly a foreign one so you can act sophisticated next time you're buddies are getting jazzed up about "The Town." Wait a minute, I think I just spilled my secrets. Que Lastima.

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