Doble Juego (Con Game) (2004)
Director: Alberto Durant.
Starring: Fabrizio Aguilar (Rafo), Mari Pili Barreda (Laura), Katia Condos (Mary), Gianella Neyra (Carmen), Emilran Cossio (Wilson), Gabriela Velaszuez (Sr. Gloria), Gianfranco Brero (Jaime), Ana Cecilia Natteri (proprietor), Carlos Alcántara (Miguelon), Macarena Poppe (daughter of Miguelon), Montserrat Bruoue (Reina), Mario Velasquez (Gato), Gilberto Torres (Amigo), Milagros Vidal (Beatriz), Mae Durant (friend of Beatriz), Ramsey Ross (gringo in the pizzeria), Andrea Hechler (pizzeria waitress), Roxana Yepez (Luz), Ricardo Fernández (Rafo’s father), Mariel Ocampo (stripper), Fernando Cayo (Salvador Gutierrez), Paul Vega (hotel manager).
Language: Spanish with English subtitles.
set in days of collapse under President Fujimoro of Peru
Spoiler Warning: plot may be given away. (Presents about the first half of the movie or so.)
Lima, Peru, end of the year 2000. President Alberto Fujimori's regime staggers. Millionaire accounts and secret videos reveal criminal negotiations at the core of power. It is a time of lies and corruption.
Rafo is a young man who wants to become a film director. His father, however, wants him to take over the family business. Rafo's girlfriend is Laura who is much more realistic and serious about life than Rafo. The couple has a lot of bills and they are a bit desperate for money.
Mary is a recently divorced woman in her thirties with two children, who work selling apartments in the city. Her friend is married, but a little bored. Her husband watches over her a little too closely. The friend wants to be an interior decorator. Mary's hairdresser needs about 300 haircuts for her ticket to Lourdes: "If you go there three years, the virgin will make your love wishes come true."
Jaime Maldonado was an accountant until recently, but later being laid-off, he drives a taxi. He has a daughter named Beatriz who works as a hotel receptionist. Miguelon is also in great need of money. Beatriz steals a bra in a store.
Wilson is the security guard at an apartment building. He also has money problems. One of the maids in the apartment building, Luz, likes Wilson, but she doesn't like the fact that he has no money.
Rafo has a beautiful classic Chevrolet car that he wants to sell to get the money that he really needs. His car salesman friend Gato tells Rafo that he recently met a gringo who produces porno films. Rafo is interested, figuring it is a good way to make some quick money. Later, Rafo meets with the porn producer. Beatriz and her friend are in the restaurant booth next to them and they laugh at what they overhear.
Rafo visits his father who gives him $300 dollars. He tells dad that he is working on a new film. Gato takes Rafo to a strip joint to see Barbara, a good looking stripper, who he thinks would be perfect for the part. Rafo agrees. The would-be film director wants control over the film and asks Gato to finance the film with him. Gato absolutely refuses, so Rafo gets mad and leaves.
Curly-haired Salvador Gutierrez checks with hotel receptionist Beatriz about his reservations for rooms for a business conference for some Japanese businessmen. He needs five more rooms, but there aren't any available. He asks and she tells him that she is studying marketing at Catholic University. Salvador brags that he knows the dean there. So Beatriz reveals that she did not really even get into the program this semester. Salvador tells her he can insure her entrance into the marketing program. So Beatriz talks to her hotel manager to make sure that Salvador will get the rooms that he needs for his business conference.
In his taxi Jaime Maldonado arrives at the hotel. Salvador takes a ride in his taxi. The new driver tells the passenger about his situation and Salvador says he knows a man looking for an accountant. Jaime says he is interested in the job. Salvador gets out at the apartment where Mary is the real estate agent. Jaime waits for him. Mary is not there at the moment so he gets Wilson to show him the apartment. In the empty apartment, Salvador tells Wilson that he will have a part-time cleaning job available for his new apartment. Wilson tells him he wants the job and Salvador agrees. Since he has money problems, Wilson asks for a $100 dollar advance. Salvador says he will have someone bring over the money the next day.
Laura plays the piano under the watchful eye of her tutor. She desperately wants her own piano on which she will be able to practice more. Her teacher tells her about a good piano that Mary can buy at a relatively cheap price. Mary withdraws all their savings from the back, $600 dollars, to help her pay all her bills.
Mary arrives at the apartment and Salvador talks with her. He says he will give her a down payment tomorrow. Mary tells him that she has a contract at home. He goes with her to her home to get the contract. Jaime drives the pair. Wilson and Luz hook up in one of the apartments. She tells him that she is pregnant and needs money for the pregnancy test and the doctor. Since Wilson does not have any money, he gives the maintenance money to her. He is not worried about anyone noticing because Salvador will give him an advance tomorrow. At Mary's house, Salvador says he will need an interior decorator for his new apartment. (And Mary's god friend is an interior decorator.)
Laura gives Rafo her $600 dollars to combine with his $300 dollars. Rafo gets a telephone call from Salvador who agrees to pay $5,000 dollars for the classic Chevrolet. Rafo and Laura are so happy. At Mary's house, Salvador tells Mary that he has invited his business partner over to look at the contract so the man can approve the check Salvador will give to her. Rafo pulls up to the house next to Jaime's taxi while Jaime patiently waits for Salvador to finish his business.
And I guess this is as good as place as any to stop. Salvador seems to be juggling the monetary lives of many people at once.
Entertaining movie. The movie itself does not deal with a lot of the history of the Fujimori government and its failure. There are just a few announcements on the televisions/radios concerning the current events affecting President Fujimori and his team. But the whole film is a parable paralleling the activities of the Fujimori government. The people whose lives are juggled around feels like the citizens of Peru who feel their livelihoods were played with and then much of their money stolen.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D..
For the Historical Background, see Ojos Que No Ven (2003) -- troubles under Japanese-Peruvian President Fujimoro of Peru.
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