Movie Reviews 218 – Curriculum (2006)

CurriculumI had some good luck watching some of distributor Black Flag’s Spanish movie offerings so this time I dipped into some of their saucy Chilean tenders via a triple DVD set of director Patricio Valladares movies and taking on one of his earliest efforts with Curriculum.

The original language title of Curriculum Vitae is slightly more accurate since the movie features two contract killers who spend a fair portion of the movie itemizing in detail their many contract (and some gratuitous) kills, bragging to one another and extolling how they are better than the other. One the one hand we have the senior seasoned ‘Italian’ (Serge François Soto) who clearly favors style, etiquette and decorum and waxes poetically over his finest work. His elegant slices are compared to Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí’s Un Chien Andalou. In the other corner Patricio ‘Pato’ lliro (Fabian Padilla) his ‘new kid on the chopping block’ contender has adopted the more direct chainsaw approach, but does have a soft heart and castigated the elder for having once killed a child.

At the center of it all, both literally and figuratively, is the scantily clad victim (Carolina Aguilera) who is tied and bound to a chair as the two dueling killers argue whose contract she really belongs to. The interest builds as we discover that she may not be the victim at all, and the real targets are the killers themselves.

I’ve got to admit that the beginning was disappointing as I could see that this was as much an ‘artistic’ movie as a straight up story. It was immediately clear that viewers were going to have to endure cheap video effects, incomprehensible flashbacks and dream sequences and other erstwhile film techniques. But stick with it and there is also plenty to enjoy especially once we put the pieces together and some of those annoying scenes start making sense.

It was a delight watching the scenes depicting how each of the killers got this latest contract in the first place, the Italian in the midst of butchering another victim in a bloody bathtub, all while playing hardball during negotiations, and ‘Pato’ just coming home from another kill and realizing he’s misplaced his victims head. Now if I can just understand the dream sequence where the Italian dances with ‘the victim’ in a forest clearing…. oh well.

Not the best of movies but quite interesting and a decent first movie for a director whose own Curriculum Vitae has improved over the years and is now hitting his stride with movies like Hidden in the Woods.

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