“Condolences”, by Alicia Muñoz | News

★★★★ We are in Argentina in 1992, ten years have passed since Malvinas, a senseless war, coming from the mind of a general in the throes of his power. A conflagration that was used as an excuse to try to perpetuate the bloody civil-military dictatorship that devastated the country and took years of democratic coexistence from us. A war in which young people died who were not prepared, neither physically nor militarily, for battle in extreme weather conditions. A capital tragedy, perhaps the greatest that we had to live in this country. The magnitude of its consequences reaches such a point that, even today, there are those who suffer the consequences.

Norma (Alejandra Darín) and Lucio (Roberto Vallejos) have lost their son, a soldier who participated in the war. The decade that has elapsed since her disappearance in combat has generated an obsession in the mother: despite what was reported by the army, she blindly trusts her instincts and is convinced that her son is alive. She though she thinks that maybe she has lost her memory and doesn’t remember that the family is waiting for him. Perhaps, she reasons, he is still a prisoner of the British. The father, on the other hand, painfully accepts the situation.

One day, Norma sees a photograph of a commemoration of the war and thinks she recognizes Horacio. She then convinces her husband to go to the veterans’ center where the act took place so they can help her find him. Thus they reach the footsteps of René (Tincho Lups), another boy who also fought on the islands. The resemblance is striking and, at Lucio’s urging, the young man reluctantly begins to live with them. But, with the passage of time, the construction of a fictitious coexistence arises. The apocryphal family harmony reaches such a point that her mother, like Celestina, tries to make Rosario (María Zubiri), the teenage girlfriend who returns from exile, feel something for that aimless son again.

The plot of Alicia Muñoz’s work is somewhat overloaded and difficult to assimilate, not only because it mixes two complex themes such as war and exile, but also adds the reading of various fragments from the diary that María Sáez, wife of Luis Vernet , the first Argentine political and military commander, wrote in 1829, before the arrival of the English in Malvinas.

There is good acting work, especially by Darín. She is the great canon of the piece and carries on her shoulders the necessary credibility of that woman willing to do anything. She is not far behind Vallejos, in the skin of the one who accompanies the chimera of his partner at all costs. Fedra García managed, from the management, to dodge ex officio the devilish space that she was lucky.

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