Palermo Hollywood is a movie directed by Eduardo Pinto. This "Buenos Aires fable" mixes fantasy with rawness in an interesting cocktail.
The plot revolves around Pablo and Mario, two small time thieves who work for important characters of the organized crime from time to time. One of these assignments ends up in tragedy and will test the friendship of the protagonists, as well as the love between Pablo and Julieta, Mario's little sister.
The first act is somewhat week, but once the plot kicks into action and the character's internal conflicts take center stage, the film gains enough momentum to maintain interest till its end.
It was Pablo's and Mario's personal stories that I found to be the most interesting part of the plot. In this aspect the script manages to stand out for its authenticity, especially if we compare it to other similar productions; thanks to it, the most humane scenes of the movie take shape. Without a doubt, the human aspect is the best quality of Palermo Hollywood.
Other very commendable aspect of the script is its capacity of switching between humor, romance and, at the last instance, the crudest realism. These jumps in tone are surprising but not detrimental to the verisimilitude of the story. The success of these fluctuations can be atributed to the quality of the acting. Aside from a couple exceptions, all the actors are perfectly realistic in their performances.
On the technical side, this production is very competent. The cinematography manages to elegantly conceal the budget restrictions and even produce some rather interesting scenes with unorthodox camera angles. Apart from this, sets and real filming locations (the movie was largely filmed in the Buenos Aires neighborhoods that gives it its name) are combined to produce an remarkable result.
The soundtrack combines songs by artists as dissimilar as Sandro, Catupecu Machu and Damas Gratis (mostly Argentinian), resulting in a rather interesting yet uncohesive mismatch. This can be noticed in the scenes that play Sandro's songs, which feel somewhat out of place compared to the rest of the film. Other negative aspect of the sound mixing is the use and abuse of certain sound effects typical of TV productions that damage the professional sheen of the final product.
In conclusion, Palermo Hollywood is a very recommendable and often overlooked Argentinian production that took me by surprise. Its biggest flaw resides in its hunger to encompass too much; towards the last act the plot's most important aspect becomes diluted in a sea of parallel stories and secondary characters, blurring the focus of the narrative. Nevertheless, all these flaws are not enough to spoil this movie. I recommend it to any fan of crime thrillers that is looking for something different.
This is the translation of a review first published in FilmAffinity, on the 3 of December of 2020. Written by Germán Dawidowski, translated with the help of Paula Marrodan.
In a country that has been broken down and corrupted by poverty, Pablo and Mario are best friends and local thieves. Although they come from very different backgrounds, they help each other out by committing petty crimes that help Pablo support his family and Mario become independent from his own. In a twist of fate, they become involved in a kidnapping that goes sour. This tragedy triggers and unmasks a series of events that changes their lives forever. Now the two friends will be tested and their lives taken to the limit. —Anonymous
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 27, 2021 at 03:12 PM