Based on the novel by Santiago Gamboa, Sergio Cabrera’s latest adaptation features Daniel Giminez Cacho (also in Almodovar’s Bad Education) as Victor Silampa, a shambling journalist who decides to investigate when an unidentified body is discovered, grotesquely impaled outside the home of a wealthy, recently-deceased and heirless eccentric. It appears to be designed as a warning – but to whom, about what, and why? The answer leads Silampa, a hapless working-class sidekick whose brother has gone missing, and a prostitute (whose charms are perhaps more numerous than her years on the planet), through the various strata of Colombian society, where every transaction is conducted via a series of dodgy handshakes under the table.
Our trio become entangled in the (often surprising) ties that bind the government, big business, the judiciary and the mob, meaning that Silampa’s final story might not end up being the shocking expose he had intended. His years as a hard-nosed hack, with his marriage and his health crumbling (drinking, smoking and perpetual haemorrhoids have taken their toll), have equipped him with the level of cynicism necessary to pick his way through the mesh of conspiracy at work, though not necessarily the contacts or the clout to stand up to it. This is a blackly comic blend of whodunnit and socio-political satire, shot entirely on location in Bogota. KM