Saturday, September 12, 2009


While searching for an interesting title to watch, I came across Intacto. The premise immediately captured my attention. Unfortunately, the concept was not executed as well as it could have been. Intacto exercises a premise where all people possess a certain amount of luck…most people very little. Those people are sort of pawns, whose photographs can be exploited to increase the power of those who possess them. Others possess a great deal of luck and can draw more luck from those around them. Whether they steal the luck of fellow passengers on a plummeting aircraft or inadvertently consume the luck of close family members in a fleeting moment of crisis. Either way, their ability to take the luck of persons less lucky makes the idea of luck more a commodity to be bartered away or taken with a touch rather than being a possession of the fickle wind of fate.

The idea of presenting luck in this manner is unique to me. I don’t recall having seen a storyline quite like this one. The plot was hard to follow at times, with subtlety being used to convey sometimes ambiguous ideas, which made things hard to follow. The pacing was seldom sluggish, but did bog down at times. The characters were well developed and interesting. The background on several characters was developed slowly, with biographies evolving during the course of the film. The rich and diverse characters, each with a gift that might be a curse, were believable within the context of the film. An undercurrent of love was threaded throughout the film leading to a theme that questioned which was stronger, luck or love. The ending was thoughtful, avoiding the easy path and allowing some interpretation.

I am unfamiliar with the work of Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and did not recognize the majority of the cast. The film sets seemed prop-ish at times, but was at its best when highlighting the rich architecture and gorgeous Spanish scenery. The film keeps viewers guessing a great deal, which was part of the films appeal. However, the sketchy nature of some of the exchanges was almost too cryptic. The themes were evident, but this is a film that needs to be watched over again to catch the minutia. Fresnadillo also co-wrote the film with Andres M. Koppel. The cast consisted of Leonaro Sbaraglia, Eusebio Poncela, Monica Lopez, Antonio Dechent, Max von Sydow (a face I recognized), Guillermo Toledo, Alber Ponte, Andrea San Vincente, Marisa Lull, Luis Mesonero, Jaime Losada and Susana Lazaro. The interaction of these players was convincing, even when I felt utterly confused, picking up the action piece by piece, where I could. Although sub-titled through a good portion of the film, the acting was convincing.

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