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Review: A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day is bone dry, which is ironic because the film is all wet, concerning the struggles of aid works to remove a body from a well.

The title “Give ’em enough rope” may have also been appropriate, seeing as how this film by Spaniard Fernando León de Aranoa is concerned primarily with the value of a piece of twine has on this essential mission.

What is so strange about the film is that it seems so serious. The idea is to come in expecting a heavy-handed film, but these fears are very quickly extinguished when the film’s setting is revealed to be in 1995, “Somewhere in the Balkans”.

This cheeky nod to interventionism clearly shows that the movie is obsessed with the little things that can fail, rather than on a unifying theory of conflict resolution, (the unexpected soundtrack choices help, too).

One cannot help but imagine that the film would have paired extremely well back at Cannes with Sicario, which also saw star Benicio Del Toro, (here playing a character named Mambrú), undertaking a diplomatic mission. Del Toro steals the picture (rare, since he is the nominal lead), and adds another level or irony to the film in that he’s known to play psychopaths, but downplays it perfectly.

Perhaps less successful is Tim Robbins as B, (yes, B), whom with tongue firmly planted in cheek, continues his streak of liberal characters on the brink, (seen previously in The Brink). Robbins seems to have matured into a certain type of role, though could benefit from a little bit more engagement. Olga Kurylenko and Mélanie Theirry play even less thankful roles, though are both fine in the story, (if a bit too glamorous, which is duly noted by another character in the story).

All of this adds up to a film that comes through in a surprising way, in a juxtaposition of an ending that simultaneously ties up loose ends, (so to speak), and reveals and settles very little at all. A perfect end to an imperfect film.

[star v=35]