Latino Film Festival Review: How to Win Enemies (Còmo ganar enemigos)

When man is robbed after a one-night stand, he has only 4 suspects: his brother, his secretary, his friend & the woman he slept with, but everyone has secrets.

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This fun Argentinian film is billed as a comedy but falls more into the category of an enjoyable romp. It’s the kind of flick that you watch with a smile on your face, enjoying the plot twists and mysteries that take us back to the beginning to see how things evolved.

Opening with Max’s wedding, his speech starts with “How to win enemies by telling the truth…”. An odd beginning for a wedding speech, and so director Gabriel Lichtmann takes us back to the start when Max and his brother, Lucas encounter the beautiful Bárbara at a cafe. Lucas asks her on a date and it’s downhill from there.

Earlier that day, Lucas had withdrawn a substantial amount of money to make a down payment on his new home the following day. When he wakes after a night with Bárbara, the money is gone, and so is she. Being a fan of crime fiction, and a wannabe crime writer himself, Lucas begins searching for clues to what happened. His suspects are only four: his brother, Max, his friend Pelican and his suddenly-missing secretary at work – all of who knew about the withdrawal – and Bárbara herself, who was the only other person in the house.

Starring Martin Slipak, Javier Drolas, Inés Palombo, Eugenia Capizzano, the amusing script by Lichtmann is low key and well-paced, avoiding the histrionics that usually accompany either a comedy or a crime thriller. The plot glides along at a pleasant pace, with plenty of mystery to keep you curious until the end. Even once the culprit is unveiled, there’s still that wedding scene to return to for one final twist.

How to Win Enemies runs only 78 minutes, which is relatively short by today’s film standards, but it makes the most of its limited run time, ably carried by the delightful cast and script.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Rating out of 10:  8

How to Win Enemies will screen on 18 August 2016 only, as part of Cine Latino: Latin American Film Festival, running 11 – 24 August 2016 exclusively at the Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas.

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