The odyssey of the giles
A gil is someone foolish, naive, slow — and in Sebastián Borenstein's film, the giles get to have the last word.
It is the year 2001, but the hell of the "corralito" and the economic crisis has not yet broken out in Argentina—it is simmering. In a small town in the province of Buenos Aires, Fermín Perlassi (Ricardo Darín) and Lidia Perlassi (Verónica Llinás) convince Fontana (Luis Brandoni) to create a cooperative to store grains so that farmers can sell at better prices and not be subject to the shocks of the market. Little by little, they are inviting others in the community from the most varied social, economic and temperamental backgrounds to participate, while treating each other with absolute transparency and respect.
Everyone unites and each one contributes to the extent of their possibilities: the great businesswoman of the village, Rita Cortese (Carmen Lorgio), owner of a truck company, Medina (Carlos Belloso), a former fighter of the Malvinas, unintelligent but noble to tenderness, the shopkeeper of the village, the gardener, and so on. To get the missing funds they decide to ask for a loan. That's when the national hell breaks out and they, the giles, are determined to recover what rightfully belongs to them.
This film, based on the book "La noche de la Usina," by Eduardo Sacheri (co-author of the script of "El secreto de sus ojos"), mixes comedy, drama and police genres, demonstrating Sacheri's great skill as a scriptwriter. Without ridiculing the characters, it manages to make us laugh at their nonsense, we hurt their sorrows and we get emotional with their adventures. This happens because the film portrays the crisis of 2001 with great sensitivity, depicting the impact it had on these rich, complex and diverse characters, rather than showing the abstractions of economic data.
At the same time, the film has an excellent production, photography and soundtrack, which contribute to its development. With all of those components to recommend it, the film has been selected to represent Argentina in the 92nd edition of the Oscars, in February 2020, in the category of Best International Film.
At this time, full of social outbursts, we may want to see more giles like us portrayed, resurfacing for their ability to meet and love each other beyond the difficulties.