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Very few movies leave you questioning “What just occurred?” at the end, as well as “What is happening currently?” throughout its duration. Yet, this is exactly what I found myself exclaiming during this bizarre, entirely unique, captivating and surrealist tale about a bank robbery in Buenos Aires, directed by Argentinian filmmaker Rodrigo Moreno. If Pedro Almodóvar and Eric Rohmer collaborated on a lengthy heist film, it may resemble this one, but the film’s unpredictability makes it challenging to categorize it into a specific genre – or any genre at all.

The setting is a bank situated in the city, where Moran (played by Daniel Elías) has been working as a cashier for many years without any joy. Due to his length of service and lack of enthusiasm, he is given the responsibility of transporting large amounts of money from the tills to the safe. However, Moran has figured out a way to easily transfer substantial sums of cash into the storage cabinets located behind the customer area, and then into a simple backpack that he takes home with him. To carry out his plan, Moran meets with his equally monotonous colleague, Román (played by Esteban Bigliardi), at a bar and offers him a deal. He calmly places a backpack overflowing with money at Román’s feet and proposes that he will confess to the authorities, serve a short sentence of three and a half years, and in return, Román will keep watch over the money. After their plan is completed, they will split the cash, enough to retire and escape the rat race. However, Moran makes it clear that if Román betrays him, he will implicate him in the crime. Shocked and feeling pressured, Román reluctantly brings the bag of money home and hides it in his small apartment where he lives with his girlfriend, who is a music teacher. He then begins his new secret life of illegal activities.

However, there exist additional plotlines that twist and split in a surreal fashion. The characters Moran and Román (whose anagrammatic names suggest alternate realities and unexpected coincidences) face a cruel supervisor named Del Toro at the bank, portrayed by the experienced Argentine actor Germán De Silva. Additionally, in prison, Moran is tormented by a gang leader nicknamed Garrincha, also portrayed by Germán De Silva.

During his time in jail, Moran reveals to Román that he has stashed away money by a stream in a secluded area called Alpa Corral in Córdoba province, and suggests that Román retrieve it. However, the plot of the movie takes a comedic turn when Román gets sidetracked during his perilous mission while trying to make his escape, and ends up falling for a woman named Norma (Margarita Molfino), who owns a small farm in the same location. In the midst of all this, he also helps a friend with a film project. The story then takes a surprising turn with the introduction of a new parallel, adding to the already bizarre cosmic elements.

One could initially argue about the unrealistic nuances and inconsistencies in the procedure and plot: can a bank robber truly rely on a short sentence when the stolen money has not been recouped? However, concerns about realism are not the primary focus here. This is a satirical comedy that confidently follows its own unique and offbeat path, and from the start, the traditional heist trope is undermined by the nonchalant way the robbery is portrayed. The mix of seriousness and humor in this film is something to be savored, like a lesser-known fortified wine, and there is something alluring about this improbable adventure. It reveals that bank employees, just like any other brief and indifferent acquaintances, have rich and intense inner lives, and possess the ability to poetically redefine their own identities. This could potentially become a beloved classic.

Source: theguardian.com