Foreign Film Friday/East End Film Festival: Tigre review - Argentinian drama ties itself in knots
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Tigre is an uninteresting film, save for a remarkable talent in diluting an interesting setting with mediocre, familiar ideas. It seems fair to dismiss new, debuting directors because they aim high and hit extremely low. That might be a little harsh, but if directors Ulises Porra and Silvina Schnicer are prepared to make a movie that tries to get anywhere close to their majesties Claire Denis and Francis Ford Coppola, then they should be prepared for backlash should they fail, which they have. That setting is the Argentinian Tigre delta. A dense jungle, alive with disquieting ambience; a strange air moves between the plant-life there. It’s the same that the aforementioned Coppola found in the Vietnamese river in Apocalypse Now (1979), or James Gray uncovered in The Lost City of Z (2016). As one character notes early on, promising a far more breath-taking affair than what occurs, “People get weird when the water gets high.” Within the delta, a small group all live together in a riverside house. Though few of the characters are given enough personality to register properly, the caricatures that set those predictable ideas in motion are all there. First, there is the flawed matriarch, Rina, in a commendable role for Marilú Marini. Her adult son, Facundo, is also inexplicably present, and Agustín Rittano’s performance in the role does little to redeem the flat character. Supposedly traumatised by his mother’s abusive parenting, Rittano lacks the depth or the onscreen time (the latter of which is no fault of his own) to grasp the undercurrents in his character.
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