The World Is Ours

The World Is Ours

***1/2

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Whether the world is theirs is debatable but a microcosm of Spanish fiscal and social issues is certainly represented in actor-turned-director Alfonso Sánchez's feature-length fast and furious debut.

Bull's Head (Sánchez) and Sneaky (Alberto López) are tough boys from the Seville streets with more brawn than brains. But they have a plan - they're going to rob the local bank and hot foot it to Brazil. That their motorbike runs out of gas in the first few minutes of the film is an indication that this is not going to go well. In fact, a picture emerges of an entire populous running on empty once they enter the world in miniature that is the bank.

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All life is there, from the corrupt manager working a deal with the mob to a journalist who wants a story at any cost. There's also a cross-section of society being hammered by the economic downturn - a bickering couple who can't get a mortgage, a benefit claimant working jobs on the side, a graduate technical wizard who is "a stock boy in a supermarket" and a Chinese migrant, who faces the double drawback of prejudice - he is constantly referred to by all concerned as a "Chink" - and a language barrier.

Just as the hold-up threatens to turn into a free for all of blame throwing, a man named Fermin (José Rodríguez Quintos) walks in. A local at the end of his tether with debt, Fermin also has a plan and it could prove deadly for all concerned, an eventuality that acts as a surprising spur to solidarity.

The pace - and subtitling - may be frantic and the comedy occasionally too broad, but there is also subtle satire underpinning the surface. Sánchez is out to skewer prejudice in all its forms, from the north/south divide discrimination experienced by the new policewoman on the block, whose sex is as much of a bone of contention with her colleagues as her accent, to racism, homophobia and the parochialism of a religious leaders who want to go ahead with their march at any cost. If Sánchez sometimes wants to have his cake and eat it too - some of the jokes are unfortunately likely to be lapped up by those he is attempting to satirise - the fim's sheer energy and momentum help you to overlook its failings. Unlike Bull's Head and Sneaky, the motor running Sánchez's film stays in full throttle to the last.

Reviewed on: 10 Mar 2013
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To boys from the hood try to rob a bank... but things don't go according to plan.

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Viva 2013

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