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Penumbra 2012
Description: A girl hesitantly rents an apartment to an eerie boy who she later realizes has a part in the solar eclipse that is taking place.
Released: 02 Feb 2012 Director: Adrián García Bogliano, Ramiro García Bogliano Writers: Adrián García Bogliano, Ramiro García Bogliano Actors: Cristina Brondo, Camila Bordonaba, Berta Muñiz, Arnaldo André Genres: Horror, Thriller
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Penumbra Reviews:

A very suspenseful tiny movie, that might not go exactly the method you expect it to go. At least that rings real with my expectations and I was satisfied it had some surprises up its sleeves. Also I loved the ending. I think you can interpret things into it (but that might only be real with me of course).I loved the actress in it. She is so OTT, that of course she also might spark up another feelings. But that's the method she is (her character) and the actress really relished in it. Nice performance by her and the another cast members of course. You might feel the storyline has inconsistencies and is not true, which will create the film unbearable of course. I can say you that I didn't have that sort of problem. I really loved the film with all its tiny twists and mistakes it had


Lots of attention to framing and setting up the tension. Very Lynchian in it's oddness and almost slapsticky change-ups. Reminds one of Twin Peaks. This part of the movie works. The actors deserve some note for quality performances.What doesn't work is the story. It's a mess...and it's stupid. You will hang on for the intelligent reveal that is never forthcoming. You wait 90 mins for essentially a 'just because/contrivance for contrivance sake' explanation which does not pay-off whatsoever. The epilogue is meaningless and absurd as well.Engaging cinematography, nice acting, nonsense story. I personally detest slow burns that tease a twisty reveal and fail to deliver. Despite the nice production and skillful execution, at the end of the day your 90 mins are wasted.


"Penumbra" attempts to tease the audience with recommendations of mental illness, but don't be fooled. A prologue sequence, which features an happening the main hero couldn't possibly have any knowledge of, makes it abundantly clear that everything that happens is now happening, and that whoever is involved has gone to nice lengths to ensure the total silence of any potential witness. This is now more damaging than it might first appear, as it calls into question sequences that stretch the limits of plausibility. The movie has some nice thrills and a surprisingly ample amount of hero development, but by my sensibilities, a more ambiguous plot would have been much more satisfying. When the truth of a case is launch for debate, it forces us into now thinking about scenes, images, and passages of dialogue.I will not reveal what happens in the prologue, for it's too deeply connected to what happens during the climax. Instead, I'll start with the storyline proper. We meet Marga (Cristina Brondo), a perpetually busy, borderline confrontational lawyer from Barcelona. She's in Buenos Aires to close a deal regarding the rental of an apartment she and her sister inherited from their parents. In the building, she bumps into a boy called Jorge (Berta Muñiz), who claims to be the true estate broker she's scheduled to meet. He informs her that his client would like to bypass traditional procedures, mostly contracts and another assorted paperwork, and create the deal immediately. Marga's resistance instantly lowers when Jorge goes on to tell that his client is willing to pay four times the store value for the property.This establishing sequence of happenings is intercut with a stage in which Marga is followed by a homeless boy as she crosses the road to a minimart. We clearly hear him insulting her with a series of filthy names, and when he grabs her arm, she strikes back with a taser she just happens to be carrying in her purse. For nice measure, she kicks him in the stomach one or two times once he's down. When bystanders and a police officer intervene, he plays innocent and asserts that he only asked her for a several coins. Not only does everyone trust him, they ensure Marga that he's a decent human being. In sheer frustration, Marga rants about the dregs of society blaming everyone but themselves for their problems. At that point, cute much everyone thinks that she's crazy. Indeed, her sanity will repeatedly be questioned by different characters in different ways.Upon returning to the apartment building, she's approached by one of the tenants, a chatty but accommodating older woman. Apart from the fact that her parents emigrated from Spain during their civil war, she says Marga that it's a strange day and it may have something to do with an impending solar eclipse. Marga isn't all that interested; she's has better things to do, not the least of which is continue making inflammatory business calls on her cell phone. She even works in time with her underachieving sister and the married boy she's having an affair with. When she returns to her apartment, another boys and girls have joined Jorge. They skulk around with expressions of deceit, although they continuously assure Marga that she isn't seeing or hearing what she thinks she's seeing or hearing. What, for example, is going on in the locked room adjacent to the kitchen? Peering through the keyhole, Marga sees what appears to be a sack of potatoes.The storyline just type of keeps building like this, and while I appreciate the craft and power of suspense, I have to wonder why writers/directors Adrian and Ramiro Garcia Bogliano felt the need to take as much time as they took. By the time the reality of the case is finally revealed, at which mission Marga is gagged and tied to a chair, only about ten mins of the film remains. Some of that time is spent on a plot twist that's paradoxically appropriate and unconvincing. Because the prologue effectively quells any doubts we might develop regarding Marga's state of mind, we're left to wonder how certain happenings should have possibly taken zone given the chronology and who in all had a part to play. The ending seemed to recommend the involvement of the whole city, which, even for a thriller of this sort, is a bit far-fetched.But actually I'm just being annoyingly vague. While "Penumbra" shows an appreciation and understanding of craft, I'm difficult pressed to tell that the filmmakers really knew what they wanted to say. I'm cute sure we've all heard the one about how it's not what you think in your head but what you feel in your heart, and I think that's a fair assessment of this film. It's competently made, and it has some wonderfully tense moments, but it lacks conviction. If one were to argue in defense of supernatural overtones, which would fit accordingly with the film's examination of the occult, perhaps then the plot should be explained. But in my eyes, it wouldn't fly. That's because, in spite of the strange happenings that kick begin the final scene, I saw no evidence that anything otherworldly should have happened. The only logical explanation is an illogical occurrence that requires suspension of disbelief.-- Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)



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