Gigante (2009)


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A supermarket security guard forms a powerful fixation on the pretty cleaning woman who scrubs the aisles during the graveyard shift in this deeply personal tale of obsession and voyeurism from first-time feature filmmaker Adrian Biniez. When the sun goes down, Jara (Horacio Camandule) clocks in to monitor the security cameras at a suburban Montevideo supermarket. The job can be pretty dull at times, so in order to keep himself occupied, Jara often passes the time watching videos, doing crossword puzzles, and playing music. One night, as Jara glances at the monitors, pretty cleaning woman Julia (Leonor Svarcas) wanders into frame and the portly security guard is immediately transfixed. With each passing day, Jara's fixation on Julia grows stronger, to the point where he eventually begins following her outside of work, as well. Before long, Jara's entire life is centered on Julia's daily routine; he watches as she lounges on the beach, goes to a movie, and even as she meets with another man. When rumors of layoffs begin circulating around the supermarket and Jara discovers that Julia is one of the workers about to be handed her walking papers, the smitten security guard must choose between letting go of his obsession and laying bare his suppressed feelings for the object of his affections, or remaining silent and letting his one chance at happiness slip away.

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Critic Reviews for Gigante

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (8)

As with the recent Chilean comedy The Maid, Gigante is a sharply acted piece that presents to the audience several forks in the road by which the main character could choose either to escalate matters, or not.

Jan 21, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Going to the movies is, at some level, pure voyeurism -- if they involve people, that is. Transformers don't count. I admire films that consist only or in large part of watching.

Jan 21, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

In his feature debut, Biniez could easily be setting in motion a familiar, suspenseful stalker thriller, but thankfully he is much more concerned with exploring the workings of the human heart with a touch of wistfulness and a dash of humor.

Jan 1, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

A spin on all the recent films utilizing video and found footage, this comedy from Uruguay has more than a few sweet, well-observed moments.

Dec 4, 2009 | Full Review…

An appealing, gently comedic prologue to a love story.

Dec 4, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5

With potentially lethargic materials, Biniez has made a quiet, intent, involving film, a moony-innocent urban alienation fairy tale of bashful ogre and village beauty--and it never quite crests.

Dec 2, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Gigante


In his spare time, Jara(Horacio Camandule) babysits his nephew Matias(Federico Garcia). Actually, it's more like they just hang out and play video games together.(Just don't tell anyone.) For work, he is a night watchman at a supermarket where he keeps a dispassionate eye on the shenanigans of his co-workers. Nor does he ogle any of the women. At first, he laughs when Julia(Leonor Svarcas), a new cleaning lady, knocks over a display of toilet paper but feels empathy for her after she is severely scolded by Rojas(Augusto Peloso), a manager, going so far as to run interference for her. With fluid camerawork that is in no hurry(especially the lovely final shot), "Gigante" takes what could have been a creepy or condescending premise and turns it around into something heartwarming. A lot of that has to do with the sweet demeanor of its lead character who acts as more of a guardian angel than anything else to Julia. While he moonlights as a bouncer, violence does not come easily to him.(Even as a pacifist, I have no problem with how he reacts to the driver.) So while Jara thinks the best of people, he also ignores the growing labor conflict at work, as sometimes he is enmeshed in fantasy, the movie also oddly enough having its share of cold war references like the bar being called Molotov and the occasional familiar guitar chords, the soundtrack to a world he would like to live in.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

A quiet, slow-paced tale of a gentle giant who becomes obsessed with a girl at work. Jara (Horacio Camadule) is a night shift security guard for a giant supermarket who begins stalking one of the cleaning ladies, Julia (Leonor Svarcas). She may not be “hot� but she is pleasant to look at and obviously the best thing he’s seen in a while, and she does have a wonderful smile. There is little dialog, and Jara’s inability to take the initiative can grate on one’s nerves. As someone said, the viewer almost wants to reach through the screen and slap the guy. “So TALK to her already!� But really, the film doesn’t pull any punches. It is what it is and you will either find yourself invested and waiting (and waiting) to see how it plays out, or you will tire and move on to other things. This viewer is happy he made the investment and was rewarded with a sweet, plausible outcome. Not recommended for Bruce Willis/Arnold Schwarzenegger/Sylvester Stallone fans. If you like it low-key, however, this is your film.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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