fri 29/05/2020

LFF 2012: The Delay | reviews, news & interviews

LFF 2012: The Delay

LFF 2012: The Delay

A daughter's exhausted love for her elderly dad is turned into gripping cinema

Lost in the woods: Agustin (Carlos Vallarino) starts to lose the thread

As the London Film Festival finishes for another year, this study of the strain an ageing father’s decline puts on his daughter’s love will stay with me as much as anything. It’s Uruguayan director Rodrigo Pla’s third time at the LFF, but only The Zone (2007), his thriller about a young working-class robber trapped in a Mexican gated community after a murder, has found any sort of UK audience. The Delay confirms he’s a major talent whose films demand automatic release.

As the London Film Festival finishes for another year, this study of the strain an ageing father’s decline puts on his daughter’s love will stay with me as much as anything. It’s Uruguayan director Rodrigo Pla’s third time at the LFF, but only The Zone (2007), his thriller about a young working-class robber trapped in a Mexican gated community after a murder, has found any sort of UK audience. The Delay confirms he’s a major talent whose films demand automatic release.

The first thing we see is Maria (Roxana Blanco) washing her naked father Agustin (Carlos Villarino) in the shower, a moment of great care and humiliation. The bustle and noise as she gets her three kids off to school in the other room becomes tense as we fear a crash if now unobserved Agustin, suffering from arthritis and dementia, should fall. Uruguay’s social services are no help as Agustin takes to getting lost in the city while Maria’s out. Then in the seconds when this good person is too exhausted to do good any more, and there is a slow-motion realisation of what she might do instead, the psychic thunder sends a sign outside spinning.  

Like The Zone, The Delay’s social concerns are slipped in with a thriller’s grip. Similarly, Maria’s poverty as a single mother and seamstress is framed with rich, widescreen cinematic resource. Pla has great affection for his working-class characters. As Michael Haneke’s Amour is rightly lauded for its dissection of elderly sickness and love, Pla’s more generous view from a different social and generational vantage also deserves to be seen.

In the seconds when this good person is too exhausted to do good any more, the psychic thunder sends a sign outside spinning

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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