Sunday, December 30, 2012

El último Elvis (The Last Elvis)

Armando Bo's debut film tells the most unexpected story about an Elvis Presley impersonator in a kind of weird, wonderful and bittersweet film that if you know the real Elvis sound you could be fooled by this Elvis as non-actor John McInerny really sounds like the older real one.

Most interesting is to find that McInerny sang live -no studio recording-, he's an architect and also a real life Elvis impersonator; but his performance when not singing is done more with silences plus face/body expressions and he is impressively good. He won the Best New Actor award at 2012 Premio Sur and is very well-deserved.

So you might think that this is a musical, there are songs but belong within a narrative so is not a musical. So then, is a drama? Yes is a drama but there is nothing dramatic in it as story is told very, very slowly, in almost dream-fashion style of every day life, where not much is happening on the screen; there are moments that you wish movie could go faster or to give you hints of what is going on besides what you see in the screen and when finally you start to get hints of what will come whatever you guessed I assure you will not be what comes at the very end. Quite unexpected finale done in a very non-dramatic way while something quite dramatic happens; but then if you think twice that was the only way this story could end.

There are many readings about story, some say is an emotional father/daughter story while others say that's about a looser, a musician/singer that never made it, a failing husband, father and son, trapped in a boring manufacturing job by day and impersonating someone else by night. No matter if you see one or the other story interpretation (or more) there is one certain fact, main character never is himself, he is Elvis, calls his wife Priscilla and her daughter's name is Lisa Marie.

Co written by Bo and Nicolás Giacobone (co writers of Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful) and produced by González Iñárritu film has top tech specs that give film a look/feel that everything is happening in the 60s or 70s but a cellular phone tells you is not; most spectacular use of light, great attention to detail and more gives the impression that film is from a more accomplished director and not a first timer.

It is a great film but because is very slow tend to believe that is not for everyone, only those that are patient, like to admire details, and don't mind that not much happens for almost half the movie will be able to endure entire movie. Still know that those that are real Elvis fans will be fascinated by how striking alike this Elvis is to the real one in more ways than his singing and his mannerisms.

I'm no Elvis fan but after watching movie read a little about Elvis life only to discover a few key facts that made me see this film story very differently, but won't spoil the movie for you so watch it and then read about Elvis surely you will uncover a different story interpretation.


Watch trailer @MOC

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