MSFF: DEATH IN BUENOS AIRES (MUERTE EN BUENOS AIRES)
It's year 1980 and we are in Buenos Aires. The wealthy gay man is murdered and inspector Chaves is on the case. In order to find the culprit he has to plunge into the world of gay nightclubs, drugs and sex. But what is it with the young and handsome officer Gomes, who was the first on the crime scene, and seems to place himself with ease as a mole into a gay community? Is he trying to catch the killer? Or hiding something? As suspicions arise, Chaves is haunted by the feelings he does not understand. Will the fatal attraction to a younger man help him to solve the case, or be his undoing?
First time director Natalie Meta is "spot on" on the upbeat atmosphere of the 80s without too much expense. She cleverly uses the pop tunes, over-the-top clothes and many other ingredients to recreate the time. The murder mystery is secondary, and the movie is focused on the relationship between the two men, full of innuendoes and mistrust. The very simple cinematographic choices at times turn surreal, like the one with wild horses running thought the night Buenos Aires.
Demian Bichir as Chaves, is very much in demand Argentinian actor, struggles a bit with a role of a macho who is also a bi-curios; but his young partner in crime Ricardo Darin is oozing with charisma and is believable as a heartbreaker for males and females alike.
DEATH IN BUENOS AIRES is a lighthearted but unexpectedly dark crime story. With a a murder mystery premise, it quickly spirals into a melodrama and the ending may even take you aback. Nothing in this movie, however, can be taken too seriously. Natalie Meta is a director to watch. THE DEATH IN BUENOS AIRES may not be the best film you see this year, but it is thoroughly original.