Veteran indie filmmaker Raul Perrone has designed “The Wick” around an 85-year-old man, whose attempts to repair an old oil heater reveal Argentina’s new poverty level and its big drop in standard of living. Unfortunately the story masquerades as pseudo-documentary, with the unnecessary detail and ennui that entails, as well as an irritating sense of falseness at obviously scripted elements. With the filmmaker’s father-in-law Niceforo Galvan (who also appeared in “Late corazon”) inexpressively playing the main role of Mr. Galvan, pic staggers through a long 72 minutes to symbolically conclude that the needed wick is no longer made and the heater irreparable. Pic will have a tough time even on the fest circuit.
Camera is nearly static as Galvan wakes up in his poor country home, slowly eats breakfast and vainly tries to light his burner. He hitches a ride to town with a neighbor, but no one has the wick he needs. Many people mention being newly unemployed. The Japanese wife of a hardware store attendant gives him a massage when he feels ill, then he returns home empty-handed. Filming and editing give the feeling of being deliberately uninviting.