Cuando los ángeles duermen

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Critic Reviews for Cuando los ángeles duermen

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Audience Reviews for Cuando los ángeles duermen

  • Jan 13, 2019
    You know, I believe I mentioned this in my review of Little Evil (a disappointingly decent movie), but Tucker and Dale vs Evil is one of my favorite horror movies of this past decade. I've talked a lot, particularly lately, about horror movies that subvert the tropes associated with the genre and how some of them can be too cute and self-referential (You Might be the Killer being the most recent example I can think of). But Tucker and Dale vs Evil subverted those tropes, a group of ignorant college kids think Tucker and Dale are a pair of hillbilly murderers (they're not), and these college kids then start dying around Tucker and Dale, literally some tripping while they're running away and falling into a wood chipper. Tucker and Dale vs Evil is one of those few self-referential horror movies that actually manages to transcend its trappings and become something that even casual viewers could enjoy. It's a great movie. Now, of course, you may ask why I bring this up in reference to this movie, which has absolutely nothing to do with ignorant college kids and hillbillies. Because this movie reminds me very much of that concept, in that Silvia thinks that German is a murderer that ran over her friend on purpose. He didn't, he just fell asleep at the wheel for the very moment that he ran over Gloria, Silvia's friend. I mean, certainly, he is responsible for what he did, but he did not do it on purpose. Long story short, Gloria and Silvia were out partying with these guys. One of the guys got a little handsy with Silvia and they both left. They were walking down this deserted road hitchhiking when German ran over Gloria. German, in theory, is a good man and he's trying to do the right thing. He calls the 112 (Spain's equivalent of 911), but they are unable to locate him. So German, in the worst mistake he could have possibly made, moved Gloria to his car to take her to the hospital, who knows how much more internal damage German caused as a result. But at least his heart is in the right place. He picks up Silvia and is driving them until, eventually, Silvia accuses him of being a murderer and this sets off a cat and mouse game. Silvia believes German to be a cold-blooded murderer, while German just wants to talk to Silvia to set things right and get them both the help they need. Of course, though, as the film progresses, German slowly starts to morph into what Silvia thought he was at the beginning. And that, to me, is where the film is at its best. Just the extremes a, theoretically, good person can be pushed to in the course of a night. With that said, however, there is one major flaw in this movie which, ultimately, I don't know what I would rate, I guess we'll see how the review pans out from this point on. Anyway, that major flaw is that, to me, Silvia is insufferable as a character. Here's the thing, when you look at it from the context that Silvia is looking at it, her friend was just ran over by German (she could tell by the fact that she saw his busted headlight before he ran Gloria over). She's clearly very emotional and it did look, from her perspective, like German just swerved into Gloria to purposely hit her. Silvia lost her only friend to a man that was negligent at best and a murderer at worst (in her mind). So you're meant to see and understand how she would react the way she did. But the film failed to give Silvia any redeemable qualities whatsoever. You hate her from the very start, she acts like a bitch to her parents, she says she wants them to die later in on the film in a conversation with German, prior to the cat and mouse game. Silvia does not seem to be a very likable person. And someone doesn't have to be likable for you to understand the point they are trying to make, but I think this movie fails at both. German, quite literally, wants to help Gloria and Silvia. He, at first, does not know that he was the one who hit Gloria, since Silvia said that she believed she knew what happened and who was responsible. German, from the very beginning, is trying to do the right thing and Silvia is having none of it. And, again, you're meant to understand her side of the equation. I believe that's a problem in perspective. Because you're also showing us German's side of things, you know that he wants to do the right thing. If you wanted this to feel more genuine, at least from Silvia's side, then just don't bother showing us German's drive to make it home to his wife and daughter after he missed his daughter's birthday party. It comes to the point where, quite literally, and this is before the climax when German really turns into a piece of shit, you are rooting against Silvia for how unreasonable and unlikable she is. I don't think that's what I was meant to feel, honestly. At the end, of course, you're on Silvia's side, because German decided that getting home to his wife and daughter was more important and that if he had to kill two teenage girls to get home to them, that's what he would do. Perhaps it's not exactly the most believable of narratives, but I can get into that idea. I could get even more into it if I thought Silvia was a good character instead of just finding her absolutely insufferable. And, in part, I think Ester Exposito doesn't do a great job with the material either. It's not that her performance is bad, because it's not, it's just that she fails to find the heart of the character, she fails to give you something that we can grasp onto. Something that can make us root for her. And, even at the end, it's not that Ester does anything different, it's just that German becomes such a detestable human being that your allegiances just shift by default. It's not anything that Ester did on her own to make sure that you felt some sort of sympathy for her character. That, to me, is really sad. Ultimately, this is why I only feel comfortable giving the movie 2.5 stars. I liked German's arc and his transformation throughout the film but I was actually rooting for him until the last possible second, when German showed how messed up he could really be. This is in part to Silvia being an insufferable character and Ester Exposito failing to find the character's soul. All she did was scream, complain and cry. All with good reason if you look at it out of context. But in context, you just grow to hate her as the film progresses more and more. So the film failed at telling a balanced story where both sides are equally plausible and credible. Very good idea here, but one that just falls short of reaching its goals
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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