Tangiers

Forties noir meets '90s Madrid in novelist Juan Madrid's debut, "Tangiers," to inevitably confused effect. Madrid's qualities as a writer have not successfully transferred to celluloid, and film's reach far exceeds its grasp. Result is a cold exercise in style plagued by first-timer errors. Offshore theatrical prospects look slim.

With:
With: Jorge Perugorria, Ana Fernandez, Fele Martinez, Jose Manuel Cervino, Ramon J. Marquez.

Forties noir meets ’90s Madrid in thriller novelist Juan Madrid’s debut, “Tangiers,” to inevitably confused effect. Madrid’s qualities as a writer –hard-boiled terseness and a canny understanding of human nature — have not successfully transferred to celluloid, and film’s reach far exceeds its grasp. Result is a cold exercise in style plagued by first-timer errors. Offshore theatrical prospects look slim.

Moroccan-born Abdul (Cuban thesp Jorge Perugorria) returns to Madrid to work for his father, Richi (Jose Manuel Cervino), in latter’s shady debt-collection agency — which turns out to be a cover for a drug-trafficking ring. He meets and gets it on with Richi’s femme fatale lover, Lidia (Ana Fernandez). Characters are generally one-dimensional, and when they aren’t (e.g., Abdul), they’re bewildering. Ambitious, often implausible plot heads off in all sorts of strange directions. Tech credits are decent.

Tangiers

Spain

Production: A World Entertainment, Abaco Movies production, in association with TVE, Via Digital. Executive producer, Isidro F. Requena. Directed, written by Juan Madrid, based on his novel.

Crew: Camera (color), Federico Ribes; editor, Miguel A. Santamaria; music, Jesus Gluck. Reviewed at Cine Princesa, Madrid, Sept. 10, 2003. (In San Sebastian Film Festival -- Open Zone.) Original title: Tanger. Running time: 106 MIN.

With: With: Jorge Perugorria, Ana Fernandez, Fele Martinez, Jose Manuel Cervino, Ramon J. Marquez.

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