Monday 11 November 2019

The Magic Gloves [2003]

Comedies rarely come drier or more deadpan and melancholic than Martín Rejtman’s wry and sardonic third feature The Magic Gloves, which seemed like Jarmusch meets Kaurismaki in Buenos Aires. If Silvia Prieto gave indications of Rejtman’s stylistic and thematic choices, and in particular his love for aimless and hapless intertwined people stuck in an existential stasis, they achieved a full bloom in this septic urban existential comedy. The characters in this ensemble film aren’t just mostly depressive and stuck in endless loops, but also are often so hilariously pliable that just a gentle nudge is required for them to make surprisingly radical changes to their habits and lifestyles – Alejandro (Vicentico), a lonesome cab driver who wears only solid colours, is given accommodation in return for free taxi rides by Piranha (Fabián Arenillas), a bossy businessman obsessed with his home sound system that invariably lead the recipients of the experience to ear doctors; Piranha is convinced that Alejando and his brother Luis, who’s a pornstar in Canada and exercises all night long, were schoolmates, even if neither can recognize each other; meanwhile Piranha’s equally bossy wife Susana (Susana Pampín), who categorizes everyone into those suffering from either organic depression or emotional depression, takes Alejandro’s morose ex-girlfriend Cecilia (Cecilia Biagini) under her wings; Cecilia becomes so convinced of Susan’s psychological analysis that she goes on anti-depressants, and before long Susan is depressed too; and, not least of all, Piranha pulls in Alejandro and Luis into a ludicrous business proposition that’s bound to end in financial disaster. Short takes captured with a largely static camera, and interspersed at times with elaborate fade outs, complemented the bland monotony of the characters’ gloomy lives.

Director: Martin Rejtman
Genre: Comedy/Black Comedy/Social Satire/Ensemble Film
Language: Spanish
Country: Argentina

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