The thriller “Viúvas Semper à Quintas”, by Argentinian Marcelo Piñeyro, delves into mystery in order to weave a well-crafted social critique about the lives of the elites in his country, a situation that continues over time, from 2009, when it premiered, until today, fourteen years later. Based on the novel “As Viúvas das Quintas-Feiras” (2005), by Claudia Piñeiro, published in Brazil by Alfaguara, the film is guided by an attribute that has already become one of the great hallmarks of cinema made in Argentina: the ability to , from eminently idiosyncratic situations, speak to the most diverse audiences, also mixing intimate themes with what happens in the national political and economic news, a sensitivity that other South American directors — especially Brazilian ones — should be inspired by. Visionary, the film began to warn, with all subtlety, of new storms on the already cloudy horizon of the country, victim of occasional crises since 2001, when it surrendered once and for all to the debacle that had shaken it since 1998. Halfway between institutional delay and a future that could be less obscure depending on the urgent measures to be taken, the Argentine Congress sanctioned Law 26,571, the Law on the Democratization of Representation, Transparency and Political Electoral Equity. Meanwhile, the elites were taking their last breaths.
The inhabitants of Altos de la Cascada, an exclusive neighborhood in Buenos Aires, have no greater worries than enjoying the heated pools of impressive houses, surrounded by beautiful gardens and security cameras attentive to any strange movement until they are faced with a difficult reality. explanation. On a seemingly banal morning, three bodies appear floating in the pool of one of these mansions, which causes a scandal among the residents, but not to the point of completely changing the routine of enjoyment and pleasure that characterizes the lives of these privileged people. As investigations progress, however, the argument that the deaths are not random becomes more irrefutable, and if such a conclusion prospers, this microcosm of glamor and refinement may, finally, be taken by a succession of physical decay. and moral ruin, a stain that is difficult to erase, especially in circumstances of a low real estate market, when the need can speak louder and any already depreciated offer would suffer an even more demeaning flattening, categorical in terms of defining the new social condition of many people.
Replicating an image made famous by Billy Wilder (1906-2002) in “Twilight of the Gods” (1950), the director’s script, co-written with the author of the book he was inspired by and Marcelo Figueras, analyzes the lives of three middle-class couples , with emphasis on Tano, the manager of a multinational, played by Pablo Echarri, and Teresa, played by Ana Celentano. Little by little, Ronnie, by Leonardo Sbaraglia, also appears, the estranged man who lives under the auspices of his wife, Mavy, Gabriela Toscano’s luxury real estate agent; Martín and Lala, characters by Ernesto Alterio and Gloria Carrá, perhaps the most openly unhappy of the group because they always knew they were inadequate for each other; and Gustavo, by Juan Diego Botto, and Carla, played by Juana Viale, who move to Altos de la Cascada trying to escape boredom, but all they achieve is to make their differences even more evident. Piñeyro uses each pair and each type in particular to unravel extreme situations in every marriage, and pronounced with specific vigor in their case. There are completed adulteries and those who fall asleep in the chest of desires, whether to give vent to libido, or for foolish revenge, or worse, for the self-affirmation of childish vanities; the mismatch with the mirror; small failures, like a dismissal that remains hidden for some time; and the reprehensible love of one spouse for the member of another pair. The director glides through these issues calmly, in a mature way, until he reaches the central theme of the plot, at the end. This is when “Widows Always on Thursdays” proves to be a truly timeless film, with the exposure of the wounds of rich hypocrites, sybarites, complexes, wounds that Humberto Hinojosa Ozcariz continues to uncover in the series that the film gave rise to. In Argentina or here, they will always do their own thing.
Film: Widows Always on Thursdays
Direction: Marcelo Piñeyro