A Monster With a Thousand Heads (2015) | Venice Film Festival | LFF 2015

October 9th, 2015
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director: Rodrigo Pla

Cast: Jana Raluy, Sebastian Aguirre Boeda and Hugo Albores.

75min   Thriller   Uruguay

Political revenge thriller: A MONSTER WITH A THOUSAND HEADS is adapted from the novel by Laura Santullo,. Uruguayan writer-director Rodrigo Plá delivers a South American take on Joel Schumacher’s 1993 thriller Falling Down, but this time revenge is served up piping hot by a ‘femme fatale’, quite literally.

Payback time comes to a private medical care company when they fail to deliver the care paid for by Sonia, a middle class woman with a family in upmarket Montevideo. Clearly things have got out of hand in a country where men still hold sway despite advances in a highly evolved economy and infrastructure.  With the public services in disarray, those who can afford it have resorted to private medical cover, and Sonia is no different, but when the chips are down she discovers that the insurance company is unwilling to help. As in most South American countries, gun crime is prevalent and when she fails to get attention one morning for her sick husband, Sonia takes matters into her own hands.

Sober in tone, this is a fast-paced and tightly-scripted thriller whose slick camerawork and inventive framing make it a throughly enjoyable watch if not an occasionally bizarre one that nevertheless ensures laugh out loud moments – whether intentional or not – amidst those of shocking violence.

Jana Raluy gives a performance of low-level hysteria as a woman driven to extremes in a society that most of us will now identify with: mindless call centres; cheeky staff; functionaries who hide behind their screens and jobsworth merchants – not to mention high levels of corruption further up the system. If at first you don’t believe Sonia’s sheer nerve, by the end of this absorbing drama her frustration starts to feel plausible and even possible from you own perspective. MT



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