The Visitant

AFalklands War vet is visited by the shade of a dead buddy who wants to get laid in "The Visitant," a risibly plotted psychological drama that may have worked as a broad comedy. First feature by Javier Olivera won't be making many house calls outside Latino territories.

AFalklands War vet is visited by the shade of a dead buddy who wants to get laid in “The Visitant,” a risibly plotted psychological drama that may have worked as a broad comedy. First feature by Javier Olivera won’t be making many house calls outside Latino territories.

Seventeen years after the war against the Brits, one-handed Buenos Aires cabby Pedro (Julio Chavez) is still having nightmares about Raul (Mariano Bertolini), who died while trying to help him. Raul, who was a virgin, starts “appearing” to the guilt-ridden Pedro and asks if he can “borrow” Pedro’s body to have sex with a fellow veteran’s wife (Silvina Bosco) and, when that fails, with Telma (Valentina Bassi), a young divorcee in Pedro’s apartment building. Meanwhile, a dotty spiritualist neighbor (veteran Elsa Berenguer) is casting spells to get Pedro and Telma together. That Raul’s ghost is a figment of the impotent Pedro’s mind is clear early on, stripping the ridiculous storyline bare around reel three. Chavez’s lead perf is one-note glum, and only Bassi emerges with any dignity. Olivera’s semi-noirish helming and flashy stereo soundtrack are further irritations.

The Visitant

(ARGENTINA)

Production: A Tercer Milenio/Aries Cinematografica Argentina production. (International sales: Aries, Buenos Aires.) Produced by Hector Olivera. Executive producer, Marcos Olivera. Directed by Javier Olivera. Screenplay, Jose Pablo Feinmann, Javier Olivera; story, Axel Nacher, Fernando Schmidt. Camera (Fujicolor; Cinecolor prints), Victor Kino Gonzalez; editor, Marcel Cluzet; music, Axel Krygier; art director, Martha Albertinazzi. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (Latin American Cinema), Sept. 4, 1999. (Also in Buenos Aires Independent Cinema Festival.) Original title: El visitante. Running time: 91 MIN.

With: With: Julio Chavez, Valentina Bassi, Mariano Bertolini, Elsa Berenguer, Alejandro Awada, Silvina Bosco, Roly Serrano, Tony Lestingui, Leandro Regunaga, Luisina Cicerchia.

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