Set in modern day Buenos Aires, the film centers around a relationship between two emotionally crippled roommates. Adrian LeDuc is a lonely sociopath who is forced to rent his insane ...
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Set in modern day Buenos Aires, the film centers around a relationship between two emotionally crippled roommates. Adrian LeDuc is a lonely sociopath who is forced to rent his insane mother's room due to poor ticket sales at his revival movie theater. Jack Carney, the new roommate, appears normal enough at first but it soon becomes apparent that he is hiding something. As their friendship develops, Adrian suppresses his suspicions that Jack may be the government mercenary turned serial killer who has been terrorizing the city. The other eccentric residents of the building begin to worry as Adrian shows increasing signs that his mother's insanity may be hereditary. The shocking climax of this twisted tale of deceit, perversion and murder reveals the darker side of the human psyche.Written by
A claustrophobic, anxious environment that is the setting for this film. Adrian, the resident of Apartment Zero, has created within that space a controlled, sanitized existence into which the outside world cannot penetrate. He purposefully avoids intimacy of any kind, preferring to absorb himself in a celluloid reality of male screen idols (Montgomery Clift, James Dean) and classic American movies. The outside world begins to close in on Adrian after his institutionalized mother dies and the necessity of having a cash-flow forces him to rent one of the rooms in his flat. The prospect of a suitable flat mate is grim until Jack walks into the room. As Adrian puts it, Jack possesses a certain "James Dean je ne sais quoi." Jack turns out to be a chameleon of a man, who is also a quick study of human weakness and insecurity. In a short time, Jack has Adrian, along with the other lonely residences in the apartment complex, dependent upon his affections.
While the film itself feels a bit dated after more than twenty years, and it takes its own sweet time to explore its possibilities and eventually assume its inevitable direction, there is much to relish along the way. There's no real need for a cross-dresser in the story, for instance, but the film would be diminished without him. Since 1988, we've seen Colin Firth emerge as a kind of coolly aloof and vaguely mournful romantic hero in just about anything he does, but here he is cast as a young man with what feels like the early onset of dementia, which certainly makes for a change. Meanwhile, the weirdness of his handsome and self-absorbed apartment-mate (Hart Bochner) gives an edge to their relationship that compels a kind of helpless fascination, always defying predictability.
Overall rating: 8 out of 10.
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