© Real Fiction

Medianeras (Sidewalls)
Argentina/Spain/Germany 2011

Opening 3 May 2012

Directed by: Gustavo Taretto
Writing credits: Gustavo Taretto
Principal actors: Javier Drolas, Pilar López de Ayala, Inés Efron, Adrián Navarro, Rafael Ferro

The chances are slim that two people living in neighboring apartment buildings ever meet, even if they pass one another often on the street, given the urban sprawl of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Martín (Javier Drolas) compares people and their insensate relationships to the hodge-podge architecture of the metropolis. His girlfriend left him for the USA, leaving only her dog behind. On the other hand Mariana (Pilar López de Ayala) left a four-year liaison to essentially end up back where she started. Both are on the rebound, lonely, and needy.

Writer and director Gustavo Taretto’s screenplay leaves us believing well-adjusted feel-good-about-themselves young adults do not exist in Buenos Aires. Both protagonists ramble on about the personal detachment that is inevitable with bad city planning in a city this size, which is perpetuated by technological advancements, and their neuroses and phobias, yet barely make a stab at changing. Those they come into contact with are no better. Over the course of the film’s phases – Short Fall, Long Winter, and Finally Spring – we in the audience watch, endure, and wait for something, anything, to happen. When finally it does, after 90 minutes of listening to these dreary people, five minutes later the film ends.

A co-production of Argentina | Spain | Germany, the production values are good. Noteworthy is the balanced use of engaging animated graphics cleverly blended with Leandro Martínez’s cinematography, and Gabriel Chwojnik’s original music is both sparingly and interestingly applied. Who knows? With a good script Taretto could manage to make a more memorable film. (Marinell Haegelin)

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