by Adam Davis, contributing blogger
For a film ostensibly about a finger, “El Dedo,” the latest release from director Sergio Teubal, certainly displays a lot of heart. (Watch trailer with English subtitles below)
The movie begins when the acting leader of a rural Argentine village, Don Hidalgo (Gabriel Goity), announces that, with the birth of the village’s 501st resident, they have officially become a town. As such, Hidalgo exclaims, they can now elect a mayor. Though Hidalgo considers himself the obvious choice, Baldomero (Martín Seefeld), the pensive older brother of local shopkeeper Florencio (Fabián Vena), is considered a prime candidate by many of the town’s residents. That is, until Baldomero shows up dead.
Florencio decides to keep his brother’s finger, the one seen tapping away so methodically in the trailer, in a jar at the front of his store as a memento. But when strange things start happening in town, not even Florencio is prepared for the effect that Baldomero’s finger will have on the townspeople and the election.
While “El Dedo” is a comedy, it is most decidedly a dark one. The trace of Baldomero’s death lingers over the entire film, tingeing the witty dialogue and occasionally eccentric plot twists with an air of mystery and magic. To be certain, the film is never laugh out loud funny, but it will leave you with a wry smile.
Though based on a novel by Alberto Assadourain, “El Dedo” often feels like a quirkier version of something Gabriel García Márquez would have written. That is, through all of the wonder and enchantment that the finger provides remains a sense of solemnity. Florencio’s loyalty to his brother, the townspeople’s hope for a brighter future – these things are what make “El Dedo” most worth watching. Although “El Dedo” could have been a throwaway supernatural comedy, in its most enlightening moments it allows itself to come back down to earth and become so much more.
For more information, check out the official website: http://eldedolapelicula.com