A great title hitched to a thoroughly mediocre period detective thriller, “Your Name Poisons My Dreams” is more sleep-inducing than intoxicating. One of two new features unveiled in San Sebastian by helmer Pilar Miro, this bloodless retelling of a love-and-revenge tale set between the Spanish Civil War and postwar Madrid is far too pedestrian in its structure and execution to make much of a showing beyond national borders.
Adapted from a novel by Joaquin Leguina, story opens with police inspector Paco (Angel de Andres Lopez) meeting his ex-colleague Angel (Carmelo Gomez) at a funeral. Action then flashes back to 1942, when the duo were investigating the murder of three Falangists who laid low in the deceased’s home during the civil war. Enter his daughter Julia (Emma Suarez), whose recollections shift the action back another notch to the war years.
As their encounters blossom into love, Julia fills in Angel on her younger years, when she worked with a variety revue and had a secret relationship with Jaime (Toni Canto), an idealistic young communist who was eliminated by fascists. The real solution is telegraphed at an early stage, but Angel continues to dig beneath appearances while he investigates the vendetta killings that followed Jaime’s death. Despite all the intrigue and passion here, the
operation has the feel of the most inert TV drama, complete with lumbering pace and meticulous period re-creation that lacks any style or visual depth.
Miro’s by-the-numbers direction spills over into both the look of the film, which is crisp but anonymous, and the approach to performance. Suarez and Gomez are capable but rather stiff, with the sexual charge of their love scenes
registering on a minus scale.