ROCK, PAPER AND SCISSORS (Piedra, papel y tijera)
(director/writer:Martín Blousson/Macarena García Lenzi; screenwriters: Julieta García Lenzi/ Valentín Javier Diment/adapted from a stage play by Macarena García Lenzi; cinematographer: Nicolas Colledani; editor: Martín Blousson; music: Gabriel Barredo/ Emilio Haro; cast: Agustina Cerviño (Maria José),Valeria Giorcelli (Magdalena), Pablo Sigal (Jesus); Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Vanesa Pagani/Valentín Javier Diment: Dark Star Pictures; 2019-Argentina-in Spanish with English subtitles)
“It’s a weird film, with a claustrophobic home setting.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Martín Blousson (“El Sentido Derby”) and Macarena García Lenzico co-direct and co-write this slow-paced domestic thriller, an indie that got my attention because of its strangeness and familiar plotline to other strange films. It tells of three siblings, from a dysfunctional family, who as young adults initiate a ‘bloody’ feud over an inheritance after reuniting in their family house because of their father’s suicide.
Ms. Lenzi adapts it to the screen from a stage play, offering a chilly black humor that’s supported by an outstanding cast. It reminds one somewhat of Rob Reiner’s Misery (1990), Robert Aldrich’s Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) and Jack Clayton’s Our Mother’s House (1967).
The children are the following: the most sensible one being the eldest Magdalena (Augustina Cerviño), an actress, returning from Spain, who wants to quickly straighten things out and return to her own life; María José (Valeria Giorcelli) is the game playing demented half-sister; while the almost housebound and almost normal brother is Jesús (Pablo Sigal).
Magdalena’s plans are put on hold when she either falls or was pushed downstairs, and becomes bed-ridden. She’s nursed by the obsessed with the Dorothy character in The Wizard of Oz, Maria José, as she continues to play the same Oz games with her brother that she played when they were children, refusing to grow up now as young adults.
The unsettling film portends no happy ending, as the trio try to get the better of each other while playing games to get an edge, while Jesús is shooting it on his camcorder as a horror film of The Wizard of Oz.
It’s a weird film, with a claustrophobic home setting. It plays out as an unsettling chamber piece that brings up questions of dark secrets and possible incest, while it increasingly darkens the reality of the situation as seen from the eyes of each sibling.
REVIEWED ON 7/5/2021 GRADE: B+