Nine Queens / Nine Queens (2000)

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Nine Queens or in English Nine Queens is an Argentine crime thriller that has the status of a cult classic in this country. Directed and written by Fabijan Bjelinski, for whom this was his debut film, and after that he made only one more, The aura, before his untimely death. As is usually the case, the Americans have done their remake Criminal from 2004 with a nice cast that still didn’t go through the most.

The plot of the film follows two deceived Juan (Gaston Pauls) and Marcos (Rikardo Darin) who, after a chance meeting at a gas station, agree to work together one day. After a few petty scams, they get into a situation to get involved in a business worth several hundred thousand dollars. The business takes place in a hotel where Marcos’ sister Valerija works, with whom he is not on the best of terms, and his fraud related to inheritance also comes to light. As the stakes grow, so does hypocrisy and deception, and it becomes increasingly difficult to find out who is cheating when and why.

In films that revolve around deception, there is usually more action than dialogue, but in this Argentine the situation is different. The story begins slowly, Juan out of greed repeats a trick he has already gone through and gets caught, but then we see the first of many of Marcos ’tricks to save Juan. An old Marcos acquaintance and excellent counterfeiter Sandler owns a set of high-quality plagiarized postage stamps of great value, so he invites Marcos to help him sell. Since they have an agreement to spend the whole day together, Juan got his share in the combination.

Throughout the film, Juan and Marcos test the limits of their scams, and thus each other. Since the characters of the two are deceived, it is inevitable that sooner or later they will try to deceive their partner. Juan, at least in the beginning, has certain moral limits that make him feel uncomfortable when committing some scams, but still the possibility of earning is overcome by those limits. On the other hand, Marcos is a fast guy who at first glance seems to be cheating on his mother for a few dollars, and as the plot progresses, he only confirms that impression.

As time goes on and as a potential big deal becomes a priority, so the film becomes a whirlpool of various suspicious, vivid and temperamental types who participate in the exchange in one way or another. Almost every scene challenges us to imagine what exactly is going on, who is cheating when and for what reason. If your concentration drops a little, you can lose the course of the action, but it is a great compliment that everything is explained nicely at the very end. No time is wasted on unnecessary scenes, but each dialogue and each scene logically leads to the next and everything culminates in a surprising outcome. Some people complain that the outcome is a bit unbelievable, but I liked it quite a bit.

The film has a lot of camera movement and fast editing, so from the visual point of view it is quite interesting and energetic all the time. A lot of the scenes are located on the streets of Buenos Aires, so we have the opportunity to directly and authentically see off the busy city flooded with crowds, and thus fraudsters of all possible kinds. Indirectly, we see the consequences of the collapse of the national economy, which led to the loss of millions of Argentine savings. If I had to point out a flaw, it was the fact that a few potentially very funny characters were removed from the film very quickly.

Nine Queens is a whirling Argentine combination of deception, imagination and suspicious types – a crime thriller without a second of idleness and the right choice for fans of the genre.

my final grade: 9/10


Source: The Filmske Recenzije by filmskerecenzije.com.

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