El Club traverses its traumatic themes with lyricism, dark humour and jolting explicitness shaped by a cleverly written and constructed screenplay. It maintains a remarkable atmosphere, instilled by evocative tableaux, allegorical dialogue and a soundtrack of breathy strings.
It is unfortunate that following an engrossing beginning El Club occasionally loses its way, tempted by a monotonously arbitrary series of ‘confessions’. The film also struggles tonally towards its zenith, veering from melodrama to farce.
Ultimate success derives from the powerfully stylised acting and direction that reveres the unspoken – apt, in a film about silences – emphasising significant gazes, expressions and quiet smiles.
An elegant and atmospheric film which capably traverses a spectrum of suppressed misery and character explorations, El Club is a uniquely absorbing and provoking film.
CAST: Roberto Farías, Antonia Zegers, Alfredo Castro, Alejandro Goic, Alejandro Sieveking, Jaime Vadell and Marcelo Alonso
DIRECTOR: Pablo Larraín
WRITERS: Guillermo Calderón and Daniel Villalobos
SYNOPSIS: Chilean film El Club begins with a quotation from Genesis 1:4: ‘God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light”. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness’. The ensuing story complicates this statement while depicting the complicated, solitary lives of four disgraced priests and a nun placed in a communal house for ‘prayer and penance’ regarding various sins. Their pattern of living is disrupted by the arrival of a new priest and the series of events he precipitates.
Trailer not yet available.