Review: The Hidden Face (La Cara Oculta) / Cert: 15 / Director: Andrés Baiz / Screenplay: Andrés Baiz / Starring: Quim Gutiérrez, Martina García, Clara Lago / Release Date: May 20th
Before we start, we urge you NOT to watch the trailer for this Spanish/Columbian thriller. Sure, it might make you want to see it, but it will definitely spoil your enjoyment of the film.
Adrián (Gutiérrez), an eminent conductor on placement with the Columbian Symphony Orchestra, is despairing. His girlfriend, Belen (Lago) has left him, leaving only a video telling him that she is sorry and not to look for her. After days trying to get his head around her sudden flit, Adrián decides to go out and get plastered. It is while drowning his sorrows that he catches the attention of pretty barmaid Fabiana (García), and the pair are soon lovers. However, the police are treating Belen's disappearance as suspicious.
Without delving too much into spoiler territory, the film is split into three distinct acts, the first focusing on the new affair between Adrián and Fabiana, the second on what actually happened between Adrián and Belen, before it reaches its ironic and very satisfying conclusion. Wrong-footing the viewer into thinking its a supernatural horror film, the ensuing tale is much more interesting, if just as fantastical. While the film is creatively and visually entertaining, director Baiz seems to be in a rush to tell his story, and as such some of the characterisation suffers. Also, there is little sense of time in the first part of the story, giving the impression the events could be happening over a period of days when it actually could be weeks or even months. These minor misgivings notwithstanding, it is an entertaining and riveting film. Lets hope it's one that will avoid being ruined by a Hollywood remake.