2006-03-30 12:03

Tomas (Leonardo Sbaraglia), is a bank robber, and sole survivor of a horrific plane crash, becomes a tool of revenge in the hands of Federico (Eusebio Poncela), who survived a massive earthquake and has a gift - the power to rob those around him of their good fortune with a touch.

For years, Federico has been the protege of the seemingly untouchable Sam (Max Von Sydow), the ultimate survivor, who lost everything but his own life in the terrible conflagration that enveloped Europe during the Second World War. Sam now runs a casino.

When Federico tries to escape, Sam strips him of his gift. Federico links up with Tomas, who is being investigated by and begins to make his way back, to revenge himself on his teacher.

Enter Sara (Monica Lopez), a policewoman, also cursed with luck, who miraculously survived a car crash that killed her family, becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind a clandestine gambling ring where death and luck intermingle.

Sara tails Tomas and Frederico as they make their way back to the Casino to challenge Sam, undergoing deadly trials and games of real life knockout. With Sara in pursuit, their paths are destined to intersect at a crossroads in which the most lethal game yet is played...and where the usual rules do not apply.

See it for the beautiful cinematography, daring and challenging camerawork that manages to tread on the right side of the pretentious line. If you're fan of Frantic-era Polanski, and had some level of comprehension while watching Chris Carter's Millennium, you can't miss this.

The gripping themes of human selfishness in the face of moral decisions, fate and hope, are darkly realised. It's open to many interpretations, and likely to grip your mind unexpectedly for days after you have watched it.

What the other critics are saying:

"...writer-director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's stunning debut is so fiendishly cunning that even the most jaded cinema audiences will leave the auditorium feeling dizzy, confused, and totally disorientated. Not to mention absolutely refreshed."
- Jamie Russell, BBCi

"Intacto's focus on arcane bylaws allows for little emotional or moral impact; indeed, using a Holocaust vet as an epitome of flawless fortune is as brainless as it is irresponsible. It's a shame that, somewhere in his mystagogical handstanding, Fresnadillo forgot the real world."
- Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice

"Fresnadillo knows how to create atmosphere, the visuals and the score are pretty good and the actors do what they can with their one-dimensional characters, but in the end Intacto feels like a clever high-concept in search of a better movie."
- Kevin Laforest, Montreaul Film Journal

This enigmatic, exciting film by Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo tells the story of four people linked by their luck.

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