The Wind (2005) Poster

(2005)

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7/10
Common Places
jpschapira17 August 2005
Is ironic that I use the expression common places because it is the English translation for "Lugares Comunes", the last important movie Federico Luppi did in his career. I don't need to talk about him, although he went to Spain and stayed there for a while (facto that disappoints Argentine cinema lovers sometimes), he is, at the age of 70, one of the best actors our cinema has ever seen on screen. I can't tell exactly where I saw him first, but I'll just confess every performance he's given to my eyes has been wonderful.

Common places, I was saying; the things that always happen to us. The typical story, the tale of going back to the start. We keep on getting these stories on our cinema. Not on the same format, but with scripts that always manipulate our emotions. This is not a bad thing anyway, and we have got used to it. I was talking with after the film, comparing this characteristic with different experienced directors. Eduardo Mignogna, the director of this film an other classics like "El Faro", tends to put symbolism into his titles and a lot of talks and depth into his script's words ("El Faro", we agreed, was more profound; but it is another story).

Another pro (you could say), Marcelo Piñeyro (director of "Cenizas del paraíso" and "Caballos salvajes") is more interested in the story than in anything else, so we get to appreciate the characters after we appreciate the story, which we realize, is always first. Juan José Campanella (director of the recognized "The Son of the Bride" and the recent "Luna de Avellaneda") works the other way round. He centers everything in the characters and we feel identified with them, and then with their story. That's why performances are so great in Campanella's films.

Now Mignogna brings another of these examples with "El Viento" ("The Wind"). Remaining faithful to his line of work, with simple and direct shots that hit us, he tells the story of Frank Osorio (Federico Luppi), a man actually named José. "But that's something no one ever knew", he says. He is a man from the south, who has lived all his life working with sheep. Now he has to get out of that place, because his daughter has died, and he needs to tell his grand daughter some secrets hidden behind the family's experiences. Dressed with elegant clothing and a peculiar hat, "grandpa" starts his journey. She is Alina (Antonella Costa), a 28-year old brunette and somehow sad woman.

The plot now spins around them and around the people in their lives, like good-hearted Diego (Esteban Meloni), Alina's formal boyfriend that doesn't seem to be having a good time. "The last time we had sex you were blonde", he tells her. Miguel (remarkable Pablo Cedrón), Alina's chief doctor, married man and the other love in her life. The group is completed by Gaby (Mariana Briski), Alina's confident and older girlfriend. Now the grandparent-granddaughter relationship will develop while each of them completes their business (if you know what I mean) in the city. This relationship surpasses the interesting, with details like she treating him formally and calling him by his name; and him doing exactly the opposite, with an informal treat.

I don't think the film lacks elements (and I don't want to say it), it seems to have everything it needs. I prefer to explain that there were some things I expected to see, just to make a difference, but weren't there. However, you always have the actors' work if there's something lacking. I was afraid Federico Luppi would deliver the same he did last time, but he creates his country man with such a different style. Not only that, with the respect for the people and other stuff, but the composure of an old man; the man who repeats things and seems gone from the world. "Who ever said heaven was up there?", he shouts drunk.

Antonella Costa, a praised young actress I have to watch more, joins Luppi perfectly. She could be far away from his talent, but appears in the same level of complexity. That silent woman, with a past to carry, who doesn't even generate a big smile when she talks to the man she loves, and keeps a monotone tone of voice at all times…Costa's performance is competent and naturally involving.

Now I looked at my mother when everything ended and she was crying; so were the other five people in the theater. That's how I understood, that with or without anything, Mignogna achieves his objective: reaching the viewer, and moving him. Because when Alina says: "I miss you, I miss the house, I miss the dog, the sheep, and above all, don't laugh at me; I miss the wind", it becomes impossible not to cry.
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7/10
Catch the wind
johno-213 February 2006
I saw this film at the 2006 Palm Springs International Film Festival and of the 35 films I saw there this made my top 10. Director Eduardo Mignogna who also co-wrote the screenplay has really come up with a wonderful movie here. This is a small film that has a big feel about it with it's great cast, cinematography and music. Federico Luppi is excellent in the role of Frank, and Antonella Costa as Alina bookends his performance nicely. Identity, guilt, love, justice, abandonment, pain and courage are interwoven in a beautiful story. It has that feeling of a good novel. It's a film I definitely would want to see again. I would recommend this film and give it a 7.5 out of a possible 10.
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