Contemporary World Cinema | 2016 | 120 minutes
Stranger Says: As Americans, we have completely forgotten how to make great crime thrillers. And this is exactly what we find in every scene, moment, and line of the Argentinian film At the End of the Tunnel: a superb crime thriller. Directed by Rodrigo Grande, the film concerns an elaborate bank heist, a broken man and his traumatized dog, and a nosy stripper and her traumatized daughter. The timing of the plot’s many twists and surprises is just perfect, and its interior spaces (living room, kitchen, bedroom, basement, tunnel) and exteriors (overgrown garden, city streets) are filled with shadows. What is the man in the wheelchair up to? Is the stripper his friend or foe? What is the little girl whispering to the dog? This is how you do it, goddammit! (CHARLES MUDEDE)
SIFF Says:Reeling from loss and living in self-imposed exile, wheelchair user Joaquin (Leonardo Sbaraglia, Wild Tales) whittles his days away stewing in bitterness and fiddling with surveillance equipment in his grungy basement; but when a room-for-rent ad is answered by Berta (Clara Lago, Spanish Affair), Joaquin finds his antisocial way of life upended by the brash, sexy single mom and her mysterious young daughter. As his icy disposition slowly thaws, he uncovers a plot by a gang of criminals, led by psychopath Galetero (Pablo Echarri), to tunnel their way beneath his home and into the vault of a nearby bank. As his feelings for Berta grow and he discovers that the plot runs deeper and closer than he ever imagined, Joaquin is thrust into a dangerous game of survival and redemption in this wild, unpredictable roller-coaster ride of a thriller. Bolstered by tight editing and a rich, evocative sound design, writer/director Rodrigo Grande follows up his 2009 hit A Matter of Principles with an emotionally deep tale of two wounded souls struggling for connection inside a taut, absorbing cat-and-mouse thriller that would’ve made Hitchcock proud.
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