Right off the bat, this movie shows you it’s not going to be your typical thriller movie, with prolonged scenic shots and weird music, the director Fabián Bielinsky takes its time to set the mood. I was never that much interested in taxidermy. Apart from it being the keyword for some fucked up movies, it was something that I never noticed as an actual occupation. With upbeat music during those taxidermy scenes, it doesn’t seem all that weird to be stuffing skins of animals and making them seem alive. With Ricardo Darin, one of the best Spanish actors, in a lead role, taking the almost whole weight of the movie on its shoulders, El Aura is truly a strange movie. My fascinations with Spanish cinema seems to be only increasing, with more and more gems that I keep finding.

El Aura PosterTaxidermy is an occupation that you don’t choose, it chooses you. This was the case with Esteban Espinosa, a shy and introvert taxidermist with epilepsy, who spends his days doing stuff that other people would find awkward or even repulsive. After a successful trip to the museum to sell his work, he winds up in a line at a local bank with another taxidermist Sontag. This is the time when Esteban casually lays out a plan on how to rob the bank, quite easily and with incredible amount of details. Planning and details are not much of a problem for Esteban since he has a photographic memory. After discarding the plans as something that Esteban couldn’t possibly do, Sontag invites him to a remote cabin for some hunting…

I wasn’t really sure whether I should tell you that this is actually a heist movie, underneath all the layers of side-stories and characters, but I guess it’s too late for that now. El Aura is not your usual Hollywood heist movie, but a weird noir mixture of drama, thriller and almost horror. This is as good as it is bad, since there’s a lot of sudden changes in pace, especially towards the end that might confuse or even irritate viewers. This combined with a lot of elements that are not fully explained or pertinent to the main story can make the movie incoherent at times. But, apart from its obvious quality, El Aura is one of those cult movies that just stays with you, especially the whole subject of epilepsy. I have never seen anything explained so well and artistic at the same time, with endless possibilities for further contemplation. Also this is one of the few movies that I would say deserves a remake…

Director: Fabián Bielinsky

Writer: Fabián Bielinsky

Cast: Ricardo Darín, Dolores Fonzi, Manuel Rodal, Pablo Cedrón, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Jorge D’Elía

Fun Facts: Fabián Bielinsky’s last movie.

Rating:

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0420509/

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