The Angel

****

Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

The Angel
"It should come as no surprise, given the kitsch and extravagant props and costumes, that the film has been co-produced by Pedro Almodovar and his brother Augustin." | Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Argentinian director Luis Ortega’s recreation of the life and times of a baby-faced killer has something of the atmosphere of The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

There are sublimated erotic undercurrents running through the affair as he homes in on the androgynous beauty of the young man who has pouting lips and hair that frames his face in ringlets.

Copy picture

It should come as no surprise, given the kitsch and extravagant props and costumes, that the film has been co-produced by Pedro Almodovar and his brother Augustin.

Based on a true story of Argentina’s longest-serving convicted killer Carlos Robledo Puch, Ortega wraps it all up in arresting visuals and a greatest hits soundtrack, including a Spanish version of The House Of The Rising Sun.

Apparently, the lead actor Lorenzo Ferro is a dead ringer for Puch in his youthful prime - he is introduced at the age of 17, in 1971, as he roams around a large house in suburban Buenos Aires which he has broken into for the hell of it.

His background is comfortably middle-class yet there is something in his psyche that cannot help but attract trouble. At his school he picks an unlikely fight with the handsome Ramon (Chino Darin) yet later they pair up for a crime spree and develop a friendship with homoerotic underpinnings that intensify as they plan their next targets.

Ramon’s family equally are dysfunctional - his mother (Mercedes Moran) becomes flirtatious with the youngster while his father (Daniel Fanego) has a background in crime and drugs and knows about guns.

Eventually it all turns sour for the pair and the law catches up with them after a string of burglaries, hold-ups and almost accidental murders. As he languishes in custody Carlos basks in all the media attention.

Serial killers are no strangers to cinema attention but this colourful and riveting portrait of an evil “angel” and his acolytes exerts a hypnotic sway.

Reviewed on: 12 May 2018
Share this with others on...
The Angel packshot
The story of a real life teenage serial killer in Argentina.

Director: Luis Ortega

Writer: Serguio Olguín, Luis Ortega

Starring: Lorenzo Ferro, Chino Darin, Mercedes Moran, Cecilia Roth, Daniel Fanego, Luis Gnecco, Peter Lanzani

Year: 2018

Runtime: 120 minutes

Country: Argentina, Spain

Festivals:

Cannes 2018
SSFF 2018

Search database: