The Clan: Film Review
Cast: Guillermo Francella, Peter Lanzani, Steffania Koessel
Director: Pablo Trapero
Fresh from wowing the crowds at the New Zealand International Film Festival, Argentina's darkly polished crime drama The Clan finds its place into NZ Cinemas.
With its true crime edges and sheen, the slick - and sick - tale of the Puccio Clan case that rocked the country back in 1985 is worthy of entry into the pantheon of crim-flicks.
For those uninitiated with the work done by the Puccio and their notoriety, they were famed for kidnapping, holding hostages in their basement, waiting for ransoms to be paid and then executing their victims regardless. Our guide into this glossy story, complete with soundtrack gems from the likes of the Kinks is floppy haired son Alejandro (Lanzani), a rugby player, son and bait for the lures of many.
It's the usual kind of story of its ilk and Trapero doesn't shatter the boundaries with the delivery - a naive innocent gradually becomes aware of what is happening and the extent of it all. But in a slight twist, Alejandro is conflicted by his involvement and the growing insidious nature of what is happening.
If Trapero delivers something which is stylish and slickly executed, it's in his Secret In Their Eyes leading man Francella that the film soars. His calm exterior and delicious delivery of deviousness sets the tone for what's in - there's not been a family head this loveable since Tony Soprano graced our screens. Mixing domestic issues while screams erupt from scenes in the basement provide a bleakly black background to proceedings and give The Clan an edge that's hard to shake.
It may be provocative in parts with the extent of what's going on gradually revealed, and it's as stylishly executed as any Netflix true crime offering, but The Clan manages to continue to shock even up to its very final sequence and scenes, as the credits roll.