Friday March 8th saw the ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Film festival return for its 19th year at Manchester’s Cornerhouse Cinema and they couldn’t have chosen a better film to kick things off with, hosting the UK premiere of Eduard Cortés’ film iAtraco! (2012) to a jam-packed cinema. iAtraco! (or, Hold up!) documents the real-life robbery of the jewels of Argentina’s famous first lady Eva Perón. In an attempt to stop the wife of Spanish dictator Generalissimo Franco purchasing the jewels from a Madrid jeweller, protagonists Merello (Guillermo Francella) and Miguel (Nicolás Cabré) are sent from Argentina to Spain on a mission to fake a robbery of the jeweller’s and retrieve the jewellery.
Whether you’re into foreign film or not, this one is definitely worth breaking the subtitle barrier for. Francello and Cabré create a dynamic duo that entertain us throughout the film. Merello’s impatience and sternness is constantly tried and tested by Miguel’s puppy-dog keen-ness, and their incessant bickering and monumental bust-ups bring the crime-thriller to life with hilarious miscalculations, brilliant one-liners and impeccable comedic timing. With ¡Atraco! , Cortés ingeniously combines comedy, crime-thriller and tragedy to create a 1950’s period piece that can best be described as an understated adventure. An unlikely combo are thrown together completely by chance yet their relationship ends up blossoming, and, despite a lot of friction along the way, the film ends with genuinely moving moments of camaraderie. iAtraco! is hilariously heart-warming, beautifully shot, with a stunning score to transport us back to the 1950’s. Forget that ‘foreign film’ tag – this is a master class in filmmaking.
So, don’t miss out! Spirit yourself away from the drizzle and spontaneous snowstorms of Manchester to the sun-kissed landscapes of Spain and Latin America. Impress your friends with how cultural you are and in the process have a phenomenal evening out. Get yourself down to The Cornerhouse to experience first-hand what other Spanish and Latin American cinematic delights they’ve got to offer.