Hostage of an Illusion | Chicago Reader

Hostage of an Illusion

Eliseo Subiela, Argentina's reigning master of sexy, softhearted magic realism, seems to be treading water with this moody romance about a 60-ish novelist pursuing an affair with a photographer three decades his junior. Subiela's warts-and-all eroticism is still a treat (like Paul Verhoeven, Subiela creates the impression that he actually enjoys sex rather than simply exploiting it), and his dialogue contains enough funny non sequiturs to recall his most imaginative work (Last Images of the Shipwreck, Don't Die Without Telling Me Where You're Going). But the story, which contains fewer surreal twists than usual, never really goes anywhere, even when Subiela brings in a military conspiracy and a mental illness subplot in the final act. This is a pleasant daydream from a filmmaker capable of much grander visions. In Spanish with subtitles.

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