Friday, October 14, 2011

El gran Vázquez


Manuel Vázquez (Santiago Segura) is a popular comic book artist who uses his being street smart to con people. Understandably, this gets him to a lot of trouble but he gets away most of the time anyway. However, there will always be an instance when one would be caught. Will Vazquez end up learning his lesson or has he gotten so used to the idea of tricking people that it would be hard for him to change his ways?

The acting here is good except maybe for the bimbo love interest and the stereotypical boss who both go overboard at times that they start to look like caricatures. The comedy formula here is a mix of slapstick and clever plot twists which turns out to be a good combination because there is something for everyone to laugh at. These help sustain your interest despite the repetitive schticks shown in the movie. It is the setting that I kind of dislike because it is set in Barcelona of the 60's. I am okay with period pieces as long as they are drama, but comedy, not so much, especially because of how the film kind of highlights the dominant machismo culture of the era, which nowadays is just so passé.

The story might bore you because it is a biography of a comic book writer characterized by frequent mental blocks, disillusionment, and some womanizing on the side. He also tricks a lot of people, which for me poses no issues since it is just a reflection of reality. On the contrary, some people would find that off putting, especially for those with delusions that we are living in a perfect society. 

Vázquez is not really a role model of a good citizen, although as an artist he definitely is an inspiration. This is true to life though, and sometimes what makes the glamorization of something seen as socially unacceptable is the common knowledge that what they are seeing onscreen is fiction.

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