Tony Manero | Chicago Reader

Tony Manero

98 minutes 2009

The sweeping paranoia and vicious oppression of the Pinochet years provide an appropriately bleak social context for this horrifying Chilean drama (2008). Alfredo Castro, who cowrote the script, plays an aging, poker-faced Santiago drifter who’s grimly obsessed with Saturday Night Fever and determined to win a TV dance contest to become “Chile’s Tony Manero.” His disco moves are enough to impress the two-bit hookers who take him in, but he’s sexually impotent and, unbeknownst to them, prone to explosive, homicidal rages. The political allegory between this white-suited psychopath and the shining generalissimo isn’t exactly subtle, but then, neither was Pinochet. Pablo Larrain directed. In Spanish with subtitles.

Film Credits

Director: Pablo Larrain

Writer: Alfredo Castro and Mateo Iribarren

Producer: Juan de Dios Larraín

Cast: Alfredo Castro, Paola Lattus, Héctor Morales, Amparo Noguera and Elsa Poblete

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