In the gritty underworld
of Barcelona
New giveaway New giveaway

The stark backdrop of Barcelona lends itself to the mood of the film that Amezcua was obviously seeking

A Spanish crime thriller set in the gritty underworld of Barcelona full of corrupt cops, desperate prostitutes and ruthless hit-men. Despite this synopsis, 25 Carat was a little short on thrill.

Written and directed in 2008 by filmmaker Patxi Amezcua, 25 Carat received awards for Best Film and Best Actor and Actress at the 2009 Málaga Spanish Film Festival (it first premiered in Melbourne in 2010).

Abel, an 'unofficial' debt-collector, makes his living through violence while trying to support his son Adrian. Kay, a streetwise small time thief, is just trying to get by and keep her father Sebas out of trouble. The anti-heroes cross paths and suddenly find themselves hunted by a host of would-be assailants as numerous plots intertwine.

When Sebas' plan to unburden himself of his debts goes awry, Kay enlists the help of new love interest Abel to save her father. On their escapade they manage to outwit double-dealing police, an informant/journalist, an assassin with the clichéd moniker, 'The Turk', and anyone else who gets in their way.

Abel is played sympathetically by Francesc Garrido, and Aida Folch's Kay certainly has some spunk and attitude, but neither outshines the other. The supporting cast was creditable, and you can't help but feel pity for the fickle Sebas for whom nothing seems to go right.

The stark backdrop of Barcelona lends itself to the mood of the film that Amezcua was obviously seeking. The concrete jungle is both cold and uninviting. The score however, sounds like it came from a bad '90s cop show.

This tale of a wayward couple trying to go straight is nothing new or revolutionary. While billed as a thriller, it was more crime drama/romance. The climax will surprise, however there are not too many unexpected twists or tense moments to savour. It might not be a bad way to spend an hour and a half; but 25 Carat is definitely not the best Spanish cinema has to offer.

Thanks to Aztec International, we have 2 DVDs to GIVEAWAY:

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Competition ends on Thursday 20th September at 5pm

By Sian Moore
Spanish Australia Magazine intern

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