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Review: The Warning

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- Time paradoxes, violence and emotions rub shoulders in the new thriller by Daniel Calparsoro, starring Raúl Arévalo

Review: The Warning
Raúl Arévalo (left) in The Warning

The most arresting and descriptive image in this film is, as it happens, the very one that it opens with: a man is sitting on his own in a car, waiting for someone. It’s nighttime, the rain is lashing down, and a throng of people are walking around the vehicle, but the man seems oblivious to everything going on around him. The world carries on spinning, but he is stuck in a rut, trapped in time, space and his subjectivity. This man is Jon, played by Raúl Arévalo, who, together with Belén Cuesta, Aura Garrido, Aitor Luna and the extremely young and talented Hugo Arbués, stars in The Warning [+see also:
trailer
film focus
interview: Daniel Calparsoro
film profile
]
, the new thriller by Daniel Calparsoro (To Steal from a Thief [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Daniel Calparsoro
film profile
]
, Combustión [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Invasor [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), who is something of an expert in this particular genre.

But this time around, the Barcelona-born filmmaker of Basque heritage has dipped his toe into fantasy, time paradoxes and the supernatural in order to spice up one of his highly effective suspense films, something he has not done since 2005’s The Absent [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, in which he dove headfirst into the psychological horror genre. Now, zeroing in on the themes of loss, bravery and a lack of communication, he has helmed a big-screen version of the script written by Jorge Guerricaechevarría (El Niño [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Daniel Monzón
film profile
]
Perfectos Desconocidos [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and Chris Sparling (Buried [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Rodrigo Cortés
film profile
]
), which is in turn an adaptation of Paul Pen’s novel of the same name.

The storyline introduces us to the aforementioned Jon, a man totally wrapped up in the various problems in his head, his mathematical obsessions and his unresolved emotional state. But his entire life is turned on its head one night, when his friend David is shot in the very place where a similar attack was carried out years prior, and where, if nobody acts to stop it, the same crime will be committed once again, ten years later. An array of coincidences and formulas point to the fact that history will repeat itself, like a never-ending loop… Unless someone breaks the cycle, that is.

To recount this jigsaw puzzle-like tale, Calparsoro exhibits the same nerve and vigour that he usually stamps upon his works as he travels through time, giving The Warning an unsettling structure for the first few minutes. But that same structure eventually manages to lure in the viewer, who becomes immersed in a game of mirrors, enigmas, calculations and mysteries that holds his attention, forcing him to try to make sense of the events depicted during the movie. Furthermore, Calparsoro does not neglect the more emotional aspects of the story, bringing his camera up close to the characters, who are submerged in their own emotional, social or educational conflicts.

Pedro Uriol (Los últimos días [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Àlex and David Pastor
film profile
]
Bon Appétit [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) was the producer of The Warning, a co-production between Morena Films (The Olive Tree [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Icíar Bollaín
film profile
]
) and Tormenta Films, which also saw the involvement of TVE and Movistar +Film Factory Entertainment is in charge of the international sales, while DeAPlaneta will release the movie across Spain tomorrow, Friday 23 March. The cast is rounded off by the great Julieta Serrano, Antonio Dechent, Luis Callejo, Sergio Mur and Patricia Vico.

(Translated from Spanish)

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