From Uruguay comes Whisky. The title refers to the word that people say there, like our cheese, to generate a smile when one is being photographed. The film is about Jewish brothers with an emotional distance between them, each with his own factory (one in Brazil, one in Uruguay), one considerably more successful than the other. The Brazil-based dude visits his brother in Uruguay for the dedication of their mother’s headstone, for which occasion the latter has his secretary/manager pose as his wife in order to keep his brother’s pity and smug superiority at bay.
Whisky ran the festival circuit, picking up a few serious prizes and attracting glowing reviews as a bittersweet tragicomedy that owes much of its droll, understated style to that of Finland’s Aki Kaurismäki; but the film is too schematic and selfconscious for my taste. It was written and directed by the team of Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stall, who come up with a quiet shock at the end. It’s exceptionally well done, however—and a good actor, Daniel Hendler, who co-produced the film, plays a smallish part as a young newlywed who is crippled on his honeymoon because the buddies who celebratorily threw him up in the air at his wedding forgot to catch him on his way down.
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