Review: ‘When She Jumped’

There's a surfeit of ambitious, youthful energy in the gaudy, Buenos Aires-set romantic comedy "When She Jumped" -- counterbalanced, unpreventably, by a deficit of narrative discipline. Peppy item will skew young upon upcoming local release, with little chance of leaping beyond regional wickets and homevid.

There’s a surfeit of ambitious, youthful energy in the gaudy, Buenos Aires-set romantic comedy “When She Jumped” — counterbalanced, unpreventably, by a deficit of narrative discipline. Peppy item will skew young upon upcoming local release, with little chance of leaping beyond regional wickets and homevid.

To angular 26-year-old Ramiro (model-turned-thesp Ivan de Pineda), life is a long video clip and his dream is to be the veejay. Unfortunately, he still lives with ditzy realtor mom Ana (Sandra Ballesteros, 15 years removed from Eliseo Subiela’s “Dark Side of the Heart”). Their flat is stuffed with knick-knacks tagged for flea market sale, pic’s most obvious reference to the country’s recent economic woes.

One day he meets the thoughtful and gorgeous Angela (Andrea Galante), who promptly kills herself by tipping over the roof of Ramiro’s apartment building. Thoughtfully, she’s left behind a knapsack full of pics, a diary and audio recordings anointing Ramiro “the chosen,” by virtue of being first on the scene, and urging him to “learn the difference between seeing and looking.”

Returning these items to Angela’s family, Ramiro meets her twin sister Lila (Galante again). Their on-again, off-again relationship plays out amid an energetic but jumbled series of subplots that includes an upcoming eclipse of the sun and numerous characters best described as self-consciously quirky.

Pic is possessed of approximately the same level of freewheeling utopianism as helmer Sabrina Farji’s co-directed debut feature, “Blue Sky Black Sky,” with the intensity of viewer involvement likely hinging on tolerance for its brand of idealistic eccentricity, fleetingly sweet but gratingly simplistic in equal measure. Galante comes off as the pic’s most focused thesp.

Tech package reps pic’s freshest facet, as colorful camera and f/x antics share the spotlight with kitschy production design. Frizzy-haired Farji may be glimpsed during the inevitable crew dance party during the closing credits.

When She Jumped

Argentina

Production

A Zoelle production. (International sales: FilmSharks, Buenos Aires.) Produced by Sabrina Farji, Jorge Poleri. Directed by Sabrina Farji. Screenplay, Lucia Ercasi, Farji.

Crew

Camera (color), Ati Mohadeb; editor, Ian Kornfeld; music, Julian Urman; production designer, Cecilia Buldain; sound, Abel Tortorelli. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (competing), July 6, 2007. Running time: 97 MIN.

With

Ivan de Pineda, Andrea Galante, Juan M. Aguiar, Boy Olmi, Sandra Ballesteros.
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