FANTASTIC FEST 2011
By Don Simpson | October 3, 2011
Director: Adrián García Bogliano, Ramiro García Bogliano
Writer: Adrián García Bogliano, Ramiro García Bogliano
Starring: Cristina Brondo, Camila Bordonaba, Berta Muñiz, Arnaldo André, Victoria Witemburg, Diego Cremonesi, Hernan Penner
Marga (Cristina Brondo) is a highly-motivated (read: bitchy) and successful business woman from Spain. While on a business assignment in Buenos Aires — a city she loathes — she needs to contend with finding a new tenant for her family’s decrepit apartment. She has an appointment scheduled with a Realtor whose client may be interested in renting the apartment. After impatiently waiting outside the apartment building, she grows increasingly frustrated (Marga does not condone tardiness) and storms inside.
At the door to the apartment, Marga runs into Jorge (Berta Muñiz) and immediately rails on him for making her wait outside for so long. Marga chills out once Jorge informs her that his client is willing to pay four times what the place is worth. (Umm… Why?) There is one catch — the paperwork must be signed immediately. Sure, Marga is already running behind schedule; but money talks, so Marga makes some phone calls and clears space on her calendar. While waiting for Jorge’s client, several of Jorge’s associates suspiciously appear at the apartment. Oh, and it seems everyone in Buenos Aires except Marga is anxiously anticipating a rare solar eclipse.
In the world of horror films, a slow build up is perfectly fine if there is some sort of payoff. In Penumbra‘s case, the build up is so excruciatingly tedious and it has absolutely no payoff at all. The Bogliano brothers spend a lot of time trying to develop Marga’s character, but they end up only really providing us with examples of why we should hate her. Yes, I get it. Marga is arrogant and condescending. Lying and flirting are not out of the question if it leads to a successful business transaction. In Marga’s eyes, Argentinians are a very low class of people. She is clearly a bad person. Most importantly, Marga is so freakin’ self absorbed that she does not notice what is going on around her until it is much too late. The writing is on the wall (literally), bitch! Pay attention and use some goddamn common sense!