Criticism: Criticism of “Time for the Brave”, by Damián Szifron (Netflix)

Almost 17 years after its premiere in Argentine cinemas (where it was seen by half a million viewers), the second feature film by the creator of The bottom of the sea, wild tales and the series simulators Y brothers and detectives It arrived on the Netflix platform in a restored copy at 4K resolution (it was originally shot in 35mm) and remastered 5.1 surround sound, which was directly supervised by Szifron himself. A movie event.

brave time (Argentina/2005). Script and direction: Damián Szifron. Cast: Diego Peretti, Luis Luque, Oscar Ferreiro, Gabriela Izcovich, Martín Adjemián, Tony Lestingi and Daniel Valenzuela. Photography: Lucio Bonelli. Music: Guillermo Guareschi. Edition: Alberto Ponce. Art direction: Jorge Ferrari and Juan Mario Roust. Sound: Fernando Soldevila. Duration: 112 minutes. Suitable for over 13 years old with reserves. Available on Netflix.

(This review was published in the daily The nation about its theatrical release in September 2005)

Barely 30 years old, after the Martín Fierro de Oro and the enormous rating of simulatorsand try your luck with a risky first trade like The bottom of the seaDamián Szifron amplifies in brave time his interest in popular genres: in this case, a mixture of comedy and police, with scales in the psychological thriller and in the action film and even with some nods to Sergio Leone’s spaghetti-western.

Contrary to the vast majority of his generational colleagues, who are committed to a cinema with more authorial, intellectual and intimate roots, with the new wave French as the main reference, Szifron finds his models in North American cinema. A) Yes, brave time is nothing but one buddy moviea term that is known in Hollywood for stories starring two unlikely buddies decidedly opposed to each other, but with a recognizably Buenos Aires social and humorous imprint.

brave time -which could well be defined as a cross between Deadly weapon Y analyze me– focuses on the affective, work and existential misadventures of a psychoanalyst and a detective: two anonymous beings, at times mediocre, who as a result of a cataract of extraordinary events end up becoming involuntary heroes who fight against a corrupt system.

Mariano Silverstein (Diego Peretti) is a psychologist who, after being convicted of a car accident, requests a probation. The judge assigns him, then, a community job: to be the therapeutic companion of Alfredo Díaz (Luis Luque), a Federal Police inspector tormented by the infidelity of his wife.

As in any good comedy, things will begin to reverse and thus the pragmatic and professional container will soon become as vulnerable and insecure as his patient. Much to his chagrin, Silverstein will enter fully into the underworld of the security forces and will complete a rigid and accelerated training in police matters.

Between the Jewish humor, the physical gag and the speed of the screwball-comedya daring handling of the absurd and paranoia that refers, for example, to Martin Scorsese of after hours or Francis Ford Coppola of The conversationand with his usual category for the construction of a plot sustained by suspense (there is much of Alfred Hitchcock’s the man that knew too much and of Notorious: Yours is my heart), Szifron makes some very effective entertainment.

Diaphanous and simple film, with an innocent look at the world in which no one -except, of course, our two antiheroes- seems to fulfill their roles and responsibilities, brave time it is intelligent in its crazy look at a very recognizable juncture and delirious in its construction of a reality that -in the terms proposed here- seems hardly believable.

Impeccable in all its technical areas (another example of the enormous professionalism of several young people recently incorporated into the film industry), brave time finds in Peretti and Luque two ideal interpreters to take advantage of the initial contradictions and subsequent coincidences, based on implicit codes of nobility, loyalty, camaraderie and friendship. Among the secondary characters, on the other hand, the result is not so homogeneous: while Oscar Ferreiro builds a relentless and cerebral villain, with all the cold blood, cynicism and arrogance of a secret service chief, others -such as the curator played by Martín Adjemián- give the occasional false note and fall into an unnecessary overacting.

Film aimed at that segment -by no means negligible- of viewers who enjoy passing entertainment without excessive intellectual demands, brave time It boasts a visual and narrative standard that industrial cinema has not often been able to achieve. Szifron, for his part, combines references typical of the old and the new cinephilia (the film is Old fashioned and modern at the same time), he always bets on the more playful side of classical narration and works on the different nuances, elements, dimensions of his material as a metaphor of the cinematographic language itself.

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