Arare offering from Uruguay, "25 Watts" dully portrays the dim lives of three teenage boys in a sleepy Montevideo neighborhood. With no story to tell, tyro co-directors Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll place far too much faith in hang-dog, Jim Jarmusch-style humor, emphasized by repetitious dialog, flat B&W lensing, and limited sets.

A rare offering from Uruguay, “25 Watts” dully portrays the dim lives of three teenage boys in a sleepy Montevideo neighborhood. With no story to tell, tyro co-directors Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll place far too much faith in hang-dog, Jim Jarmusch-style humor, emphasized by repetitious dialog, flat B&W lensing, and limited sets. Pic –which won one of the three Tiger Awards and the Youth Jury Prize at Rotterdam — lacks the spark of inspiration that would make this formula work, and most viewers are likely to run for cover well before the end.

Leche, studying for an Italian exam, lusts after his tutor, Maria. Javi has a job driving a car around with a pasta commercial blaring from loudspeakers. Seba falls in with some druggies just as he’s scored a porn video at the corner vidstore. Making fun of its luckless characters while it identifies with them, pic underscores the bland present and even emptier future facing Uruguay’s youth. But making auds share their endless boredom exacts a high price for the info.

25 Watts

Uruguay

Production

A Ctrl Z Films production. (International sales: Ctrl Z Films, Montevideo.) Produced by Fernando Epstein. Directed, written by Juan Pablo Rebella, Pablo Stoll.

Crew

Camera (B&W), Barbara Alvarez; editor, Fernando Epstein; music, Los Mockers, Exilio Psiquico; production designer, Gonzalo Delgado. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (competing), Jan. 28, 2001. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Daniel Hendler, Jorge Temponi, Alfonso Tort, Valentin Rivero, Valeria Mendieta.
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