Intacto [2001] Movie Review Recommendation

Intacto [2001]

After a small break, we are continuing our exploration of Spanish cinema, this time with a thriller that we might label as supernatural, although it seems that it isn’t. Is there such a thing as luck, and are some people luckier then others? I think that most of us asked these questions at some point in our lives, but for Intacto the thing is quite clear. There is such a thing called luck and some people are luckier than others, but only because they steal that luck by touching others. A quite interesting concept that led to this movie, and I am sure will lead to its remake sometime in the future. Directed and written by a talented Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and starring Max von Sydow and Mónica López, Intacto questions the basic human beliefs, although this depends on how you perceive the world around you.

Intacto PosterTomás is the only survivor of a horrible plane crash, suffering only minor injuries. As it turns out, Tomás isn’t just a lucky survivor, he’s also a bank robber, wanted for an armed robbery. Before law enforcement got to question him, he is approached by a man claiming to be working for an insurance company. He offers him a way out of his current predicament and into something much larger, a game with huge stakes, explaining that he can actually can control his luck and use it to his benefit. Actually, there is a whole underworld of people who consider themselves lucky and gamble with it. The rewards are enormous, thrills unparalleled and eventually, consequences can be lethal. In this hierarchy, there is a king, and his name is Samuel, an undefeated ruler of luck, reigning for over thirty years. Love, fear, death and gambling, a perfect combination…

The movie itself might seem a bit stretched, but this is only because we are used to fast paced thrillers that leave no time for thinking and further pontification of the story. Although, I must admit that the story could be a bit more coherent, because it seems that the glue that binds the scenes was relatively scarce… As a final note, my opinion concerning luck and the whole concept of it in this movie: I don’t believe that there is such a thing as luck, its all just a statistical coincidence. At this time we must make a distinction between different perspectives, lets say that we take 100.000 people and throw them from a plane without a parachute. Then we take people who survive this and make them run through a mine field. If we don’t have a winner at first we repeat the experiment. The guy that survives all this to us as neutral observers is a statistical probability and reality, but from his perspective he is lucky. The thing that instantly classified this movie to fantasy is the fact that you can rob someone of their luck by touching them. But thats just me, feel free to form your own opinion and enjoy…

Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Writers:  Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Andrés M. Koppel

Cast: Leonardo Sbaraglia, Eusebio Poncela, Mónica López, Antonio Dechent, Max von Sydow

Fun Facts: The film crew could not get permission for filming from a helicopter in the National Park of “Las Cañadas del Teide”, so they used a remote controlled mini-helicopter.


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