Also with: Alicia Agut, Eufemia Roman, Susana Buen, Carlos Munoz, Alicia Rozas, Nain Thomas, Alejandro Fernandez, Rebeca Roiza.
In “Intruder,” as in his recent hit “Lovers,” director Vicente Aranda delves with consummate skill into a quirky triangular relationship. Set in modern Spain in the northern coastal city of Santander, pic features top-notch thesping, especially from Imanol Arias, and the gloomy, often morbid story is handled with wit and expertise. Pic’s downbeat thrust may put off some audiences, making it a possible but tricky bet for the international art market.
Luisa (Victoria Abril) spots her ex-husband, Angel (Arias), wandering about the city in complete destitution. She takes him into her house, where she lives with her husband, Ramiro (Antonio Valero), a doctor, and two small children. Once ensconced in the house, the terminally ill Angel decides to wreak vengeance on Ramiro by reclaiming his ex-wife, physically and emotionally.
Plot thickens as Angel sees in the couple’s young children, a boy and a girl, the reflection of his own youth and his erstwhile friendship with Luisa and Ramiro. As Angel’s health worsens, Luisa insists upon caring for him in the house rather than sending him off to a hospital.
The confrontations and Angel’s menacing manner seem to be building to a violent climax, but the ending’s grim twist is rather too low-key and abrupt. The occasional sex scenes are tame. Pic nonetheless holds audience interest and is well-limned, albeit ultimately depressing.