Evita Jewel Heist Movie “Atraco” Mixes Humor and Suspense

by Atzin Ortiz González, contributing blogger

“¡Atraco!” is a Spanish-Argentinean co production direced by Eduard Cortés that aims to be one of the season’s box office hits (105 000 viewers went on its first weekend). Starring Guillermo Francella, one of Argentina’s most popular actors, and taking the mythical robbery of Evita’s jewels in Madrid during the mid 50’s, the public’s interest is already gained, even more since the film is a thriller (or at least for the most part of it).

(I must confess that I was very skeptical about this movie since the trailer was completely misleading, the film was better!)

The year is 1955 and Peron remains in exile in Panama. The people around him are looking at a possibility of relocating him to Spain. But cash is needed.  One of them, Landia (a solid Daniel Fanego), suggests that Evita’s jewels must be pawned in a prestigious jewelry in Madrid, obvioulsy without the general finding out. The deal is done but everything start’s going wrong when no other than Franco’s wife learns about this jewels and wants them at all costs. To prevent this from happening, Landia hires one of his most trusted men: Merello (Francella), a peronist to the bone that would do anything on the name of the general. Merello will be paired with Miguel (a miscast Nicolás Cabré, who makes me think of anachronism), a young man with a very obvious connection with Landia, and they will part to Madrid, pretend to be Uruguayan and stage the robbery.

Francella, famous for his comedic performances, continues to explore the thriller (which started with the oscar-winning “The Secret in their Eyes”) with good results, although he still can deliver some deadpan humor here since the movie shifts of tone constantly. The first half of the movie is entertainment at its best. The movie looks great, and the screnwriters Marcelo Figueras, Piti Español y Eduard Cortés gain points by showing how ridiculous political fanatism can be. The problem starts when the police investigation begins to take place. Too many subplots start to break loose and what started out as a thriller with comedic pauses shifts into a doomed romance, faux patriotism, and a family tragedy, which all feel contrived and unconvincing.

Despite its flaws, ¡Atraco! still works as an effective escapist flick.

The film opened nation wide this thursday.

¡Atraco! (Argentina/España/2012) / Directed by: Eduard Cortés / Screenplay: Marcelo Figueras, Piti Español y Eduard Cortés / Cinematography: David Omedes / Edited by: Fernando Pardo / Music: Federico Jusid / Cast: Guillermo Francella, Nicolás Cabré, Daniel Fanego, Amaia Salamanca, Jordi Martínez, Oscar Jaenada / Running time: 111 minutos

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