Impossible

"Impossible" is an accurate description of this cerebral exercise in film narration, where characters and story have almost no connection to reality. This second feature by Cristian Pauls is the kind of silly, coincidence-laden film that has plenty of transgressive ideas, but lacks the irony to pull them off.

With:
Bruno - Damian De Santo Mariana - Alejandra Flechner Isabel - Jimena Anganuzzi Toni - Francisco Fernandez de Rosa.

“Impossible” is an accurate description of this cerebral exercise in film narration, where characters and story have almost no connection to reality. Despite classy visuals and a respectable cast, this second feature by Cristian Pauls (“Sinfin”) is the kind of silly, coincidence-laden film that has plenty of transgressive ideas, but lacks the irony to pull them off. It is strictly for viewers with superior abilities to suspend disbelief in favor of novelty, which should limit its outings to a few experimental film fests.

Two impossible couples split up, change partners and get back together. The first is a normal middle-class pair composed of Bruno (Damian De Santo) and his older lover Mariana (Alejandra Flechner); the second two teenagers, the live-for-today Isabel (Jimena Anganuzzi, the girl from “Todo juntos”) and her rough b.f. Toni (darkly sultry Francisco Fernandez de Rosa.) As script would have it, Bruno interrupts Toni in the subway while he’s beating up Isabel, and is stabbed for his trouble. The girl, hypnotized by the wound above his eyebrow, licks away the blood. Later, Mariana finds him in a hospital E.R., a changed man — he has fallen for the girl.

Isabel, who lives on odd jobs and by stealing, happens to live in a ritzy apartment in front of Mariana’s. Bruno rings the bell and spends the night with her. The same night Toni, enraged with Isabel, meets Mariana, depressed over Bruno’s disappearance and the fact that she’s pregnant. Toni sleeps at her place. The next day, Isabel also informs Toni she’s pregnant, but she probably just stole Mariana’s test results. Instead of weaving these improbable events into a meaningful whole, Pauls has his characters jump into cars and motorcycles and chase each other into the hinterlands, where their feelings reverse once again.

The experienced cast gamely plays their roles with passionate straightness. Carlos Essman’s lensing does well to situate them in a mysterious nocturnal atmosphere. A weak note is the soundtrack, obviously a directorial choice, which insists on loud-to-deafening background noise and the disturbing interruption of scenes by love songs with lyrics.

Impossible

Argentina

Production: An Axel Pauls Producciones Cinematograficas/El Puente production. Produced by Axel Pauls. Executive producer, Carlos Bernst. Directed by Cristian Pauls. Screenplay, Alan and Cristian Pauls.

Crew: Camera (color), Carlos Essman; editor, Julio Di Rissio; music, Grupo Mono Blanco; production designer, Silvana de la Torre; costume designer, Veronica Bombaglio; sound, Sergio Iglesias. Reviewed at Buenos Aires Film Independent Festival, April 24, 2003. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: Bruno - Damian De Santo Mariana - Alejandra Flechner Isabel - Jimena Anganuzzi Toni - Francisco Fernandez de Rosa.

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