When biologist Laura (Laura Paredes) goes lacking, boyfriend Rafa (Rafael Spregelburd) and Ezequiel ‘Chicho’ (Ezequiel Pierri) embark on a search to seek out her. A sequel of types to 2011’s Ostende, Argentinian director Laura Citarella’s Trenque Lauquen is an enigmatic, semi-absurdist puzzle that defies the attract of narrative resolution in favour of the liberation of unfastened ends.
Starting, nearly as good mysteries usually do, in the midst of the story, Laura has already vanished with Rafa and Chicho at a loss to her whereabouts or certainly her motives for disappearing. Neither appears involved that she has been kidnapped; the very fact of Laura taking Chicho’s automotive means that she has left of her personal volition, whereas Rafa is satisfied – or at the least convincing himself – that she is in deep researching a brand new orchid and can re-emerge as soon as her work is accomplished.
Nonetheless, a word from Laura that Chicho finds and hides from Rafa once they get better his automotive means that Chicho is aware of greater than he’s letting on. From right here we study in flashback that Chicho and Laura lately launched into their very own secret challenge that will have led to her disappearance. Whereas researching extraordinary historic ladies for her radio present, Laura discovers a letter hidden between the pages of a e-book. Sharing her discovery with Chicho, they quickly discover extra books within the Trenque Lauquen library, uncovering the unimaginable story of an affair carried out between a college instructor and her lover.
Just like the letters slotted between the pages of rigorously chosen books, these flashbacks are inserted in key moments of Half 1’s narrative, revealing extra about Laura’s obsession in addition to her and Chicho’s creating affair of the guts. As they learn the letters, Chicho begins to think about himself within the position of the instructor’s lover, although intriguingly the instructor is performed not by Paredes however by the director herself. The epistolary narrative refracts, somewhat than displays, that of Laura and Chicho; we’re without end wanting on the distorted picture of the floor of disturbed water.
Defying our expectation to concluding the hanging unfastened ends of half one, Trenque Lauquen’s second half as an alternative picks up on a second, ostensibly unrelated thriller solely passingly referred to in its first half. There may be absolutely a acutely aware play right here on the movie noir system of two seemingly unconnected mysteries invariably turning into strung collectively ultimately; Citarella teases us with this, providing solely the barest thematic and affective connections. Certainly, the movie’s digital images is consciously anti-noir, whereas the chapter-based construction, whose headings at all times interrupt speech or musical cues, without delay exceptionally-well constructed and on the similar time calculated to frustrate typical formal rhythms.
A ‘spectre’ that seems on the floor of the eponymous lake (‘trenque lauquen’ that means round lake), considered an odd aquatic creature, presumably an extra-terrestrial or perhaps a severely malnourished boy turns into a brand new point of interest for Laura, who drops the letters and begins chasing the character of this bizarre being. Theremin music – which is notably first heard in direction of the tip of Half 1 – toys with sci-fi cliché as Citarella knowingly suggestions her fable in direction of the absurd, all of the whereas skilfully shuffling new playing cards into the narrative deck, recontextualising their that means.
These refractions on the floor turn out to be ever extra distorted, whereas the motif of water turns into more and more current. Trenque Lauquen’s ending is as enigmatic as it’s inevitable; the thriller stays unsolved, but by some means ended, cathartic satisfaction inside grasp however out of attain. Like one of the best movie noir, with which this in undoubtedly in dialogue, Trenque Lauquen is a movie about have an effect on and textural cohesion moreso than logic and catharsis.
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