Kékszakállú

Kékszakállú poster

Kékszakállú movie poster

A portrait of bored and wealthy teenage Buenos Aires girls, Argentine filmmaker Gaston Solnicki’s first feature is mostly a documentary in disguise.

Somewhat based on Bela Bartok’s opera Kékszakállú (Bluebeard’s Castle) – from what I know of that story, this seems quite far-fetched though – the film follows a group of sisters and friends who don’t seem to know what to do with their life. Because they don’t have much to worry about financially-wise, these spoiled kids don’t show much interest for school or work, spending most of their time in an idle state, whether it’s in bed with a lover, lounging at the pool or pretty much watching paint dry.

Kékszakállú is built on a series of stagnant sequences and while I understand that Mr. Solnicki wants to make us feel his characters’ ennui, these redundant scenes quickly turn his work into a tedious experience which seems to drag forever, despite a short 72mn running time. The problem is also that this theme has been treated plenty of times on screen, from Parisian streets with the French New Wave to Brett Easton Ellis’ stories taking place here in Los Angeles. The fact that this movie puts the spotlight on lesser-known Buenos Aires neighborhoods and social class is interesting but creating a real story around this microcosm would have been way more effective to get our attention.

The one thing that Mr. Solnicki does well though is composing beautiful shots capturing modern architecture’s clean lines and their relation to light. Each shot has been meticulously created, buildings somewhat taking center stage while characters are almost reduced to being pieces of furniture.

Mr. Solnicki’s documentaries have been shown at film festivals around the world – including at FID Marseille in my hometown – and while his talents as a documentary filmmaker have been rewarded, he doesn’t seem ready to fully transition to feature films, this movie’s hybrid nature failing to convince.

Director: Gastón Solnicki – Actors: Laila Maltz, Natali Maltz – Running Time: 1:12 – Year: 2016 – Country: Argentina
Click here to watch the Kékszakállú trailer
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Fred Thom

Fred Thom

Editor-in-Chief/Founder/Film Critic at Plume Noire
The founder and editor-in-chief of Plume Noire, Fred Thom covers film festivals and writes movie reviews. He was born in Marseilles, France and is now living in Los Angeles, California.