Review: Rage DVD

STUDIO: Strand Releasing | DIRECTOR: Sebastián Cordero | CAST: Gustavo Sánchez Parra, Martina García, Concha Velasco, Xavier Elorriaga, Alex Brendemuhl, Iciar Bollain
RELEASE DATE: 3/8/11 | PRICE: DVD $24.99
NR | 95 min. | Foreign language thriller | 1.78:1 widescreen | stereo | Spanish with English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Rage movie scene

Gustavo Sánchez Parra tries to keep it cool for Martina García in Rage.

Strand presents the foreign thriller Rage (Rabia), directed by Ecuador-born filmmaker Sebastián Cordero (Cronicas), produced by Guillermo del Toro (Cronos) and based on the novel by Sergio Bizzio.

The movie tells the story of Rosa (Martina García) and Jose Maria (Gustavo Sánchez Parra), who are South American immigrants living in Spain. They seek respite from their menial jobs and harsh living conditions (a scene in a claustrophobic “dormitory” for illegals is particularly brutal) by engaging in a brief but impassioned love affair.

After commiting a violent crime, Jose Maria hides out in the attic of the fading mansion where Rosa works. Telling no one (not even Rosa), he ekes out a furtive existence like the rat he cultivates as a pet.

A film that began as “urban verite” turns angular and expressionistic. Jose Maria’s eponymous rage goes from explosive to implosive as he can only observe events overtaking the woman he loves (and he undergoes a shocking weight loss). The mansion itself becomes a major character with it’s labyrinthine hallways and shadowy staircases. Scenes of rape and murder are all the more terrifying because they are seen in silence or overheard in muffled cries down park corridors.

The actors are superb in rounded characterizations. Rosa’s employers, the Torreses, begin as near caricatures but rise to noblesse as her raw immmigrant energy literally brings new life into their musy mansion.

Like the “infusions” Rosa prepares for the Torreses, Rage combines classic elements (from The Spiral Staircase to Gaslight to When a Stranger Calls) and serves up an original blend … and one that picked up the Special Jury Prize at the 2009 Tokyo Film Festival.


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About David

David Leopold is an actor, writer and videographer who would take a Sherpa ride up a Tibetan mountain to see an Edwige Feuillère movie.