Friday, February 04, 2011

Un buen dia lo tiene cualquiera

A series on contemporary European cinema.

3) Un buen dia lo tiene cualquiera
(Spain, 2007)

The Noughties went down in history as the golden age of Spanish cinema.

From internationally acclaimed horrors like REC and The Orphanage to amazing dramas like Volver or Julia's Eyes, Spain spawned one gem after the other.

Outside Spanish-speaking countries, however, most releases remain best-kept secrets and the excellent black comedy Un buen dia lo tiene cualquiera (rough equivalent "Everyone's gotta have a good day") is a case in point.

Based on genius social observation, Santiago Lorenzo's satire is a take on the plight of today's thirtysomethings and the extent people may go to escape incertitude and general skintness.

With his dot-com company gone bust, Arturo has lost literally everything. His only hope lays in a local-authority project that offers young people and students a place as live-in carers for frail and ill OAPs. And while Arturo may be a bit long in the tooth to qualify, with the help of a couple of kickbacks and dodgy documents, he manages to land a room at Onofre's, a pensioner known to social workers and nurses as charming, quiet and docile.

No doubt things seem to be looking up. In order to keep his rent-free status, all Arturo has to do is administer the old man his medication and keep him some company.

Little does he know, however, that behind the poor OAP there's a rabid Mr Hyde setting out to make Arturo's life a mysery.

Manipulative and vindictive, Onofre is a true force to be reckoned with. The result is an escalating war between the two featuring a series of comical moments that will both baffle and entertain the viewer until the end.

No comments: