The Aura

Director: Fabian Bielinsky

Argentina-Spain-France| 2006. Subtitled. Colour. Anamorphic Dolby Digital Stereo. 134 min

An engrossing thriller from the late Fabian Bielinsky, director of 2001’s Nine Queens, The Aura is a quieter, richer and better-looking piece that handles it multiple manipulations with the maturity the earlier picture sometimes lacked. Forty-something taxidermist Espinosa (a career-best performance from Ricardo Darin) dreams of heists and perfect crimes and then gets pulled into the real thing. Espinosa has a seemingly unfulfilling life. That helps spur his decision to go on a hunting holiday in southern Argentina with cynical friend Sontag (Anejandro Awada). The two have to spend their time in a seedy little forest lodge run by the shady looking Dietrich (Manuel Rodal) and his battered-looking wife. The grouchy pals argue, Sontag leaves, and the taxidermist, a neophyte hunting alone, accidentally shoots and kills Dietrich in the woods. Then he stumbles on Dietrich’s plan for a real-life robbery and becomes involved with Dietrich’s sinister associates. Echoes of Deliverance hover in the air as Espinosa’s daydream develops into a nightmare. Great movie thrillers thrive on character, atmosphere, style and clever twists; The Aura has all four.

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