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  • El juego del ahorcado
    • El juego del ahorcado
    • Runtime:114 min
    • Release Date:2014-07-23 07:26:52
    • Director: Manuel Gómez Pereira
    • Genres: Drama
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:El juego del ahorcado
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I used to play the HANGMEN GAME thirty or forty years ago when PS or
Nintendo were only dreams. It is a simple guessing game with 6
opportunities to guess the single characters, word or phrase. Every
mistake a part of the body is drawn (head, torso, arms and legs). if
the body is completely drawn you lost the game. The guessing game the
movie plays is more with the audience than with the characters. Even
could be as surprised as we when events unfold. Sandra and David (Claro
Lago and Andres Servantes, both outstanding actors) live in a small
town in Spain and go the same school. They meet in the seventies when
they were little children and due an accident they produce, have to
stage a lie to cover and protect each other; becoming best friends
since them. The tale jumps to 1989; Sandra is 16; a brilliant student
trying to go to UK to finish her English studies. On the contrary David
(almost 18) is a terrible student, not very bright who risk his life on
dangerous bets to get some extra money; but a tender and likable
person. One day, a psycho kidnaps and rapes Sandra. She manages to
escape alive stabbing the men with his own knife. Convinced she
committed a crime, she goes to the only person who trust, David. He
promised to get rid of the body but she must keep everything as a
secret. When families are presented; it is easy to understand why.
Their middle class parents are different on the outside. David's father
is violent and controlling while Sandra's is permissive on the outside
but create obstacles to avoid or control his daughter decisions. Both
mothers are basically moderators on their partner's reactions. It is
easy to notice that differences aside, none of them is able to
communicate or understand with their siblings. A series of intense
events unfold and this two become passionate lovers, love becomes
obsession and things gets pretty ugly. These are very young and
inexperienced people, not mature enough to handle their fears and with
nobody to ask for advice. The movie works perfect as a thriller as much
as a sad love story but it is also a crude and very effective portrait
of parents incapacity on parenting and young people incapacity on the
twist of love and life. Telling more will ruin the many unexpected
surprises of the movie provides. This movie was rated PG-13 in Spain;
however it contains far more sex nudity and nudity ( not exploitative
and far from gratuitous) than any recent USA movie; so it will probably
get a hard R here if ever shown. It will be really a pity since it is
an excellent movie to see for parents and youngsters as well.

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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The story revolves around some sort of teenage crazy love, and a very
dramatic one. Sandra and David meet as kids and grow up together. While
Sandra develops as a nice girl, David behavior is always at odds with
the world, his unfriendly father, family, school, etc. They stay as
friends until one day the affair takes a different dimension. Sandra
soon discovers she is not exactly safe with David and, accepting his
father suggestion, leaves for Dublin, where she intends to learn
English. David follows her and, rebutted, is lost forever. It's a
strange choice of film for a director who built a successful career
doing some of the best Spanish comedies ever and has remained silent
for a number of years. The script, based on a novel, never really gets
as gutsy as it should considering the story. Clara Lago is really
beautiful and sexy, but her counterpart, Alvaro Cervantes isn't as
ominous and dangerous as the role would request. It's entertaining but
never really goes as far as it should. As you would expect from a
director as proficient as Gomez Pereira, all tech work is excellent.

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