a Desolate Man's Quest for Solving His Own Mysteries in Epileptic Seizures

Sean_VictorydawnStarred Page By Sean_Victorydawn, 24th Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/uw1dc-r7/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Adventure

El Aura(2005) film review. Late Argentinian filmmaker and director Fabian Bielinsky's farewell to cinema in the style of Machinist, 21 Grams, Memento and Jacob's Ladder.

Last But Not Least a Filmmaker Journeys to his Impalpable

"I started out with a particular universe - that of the con-artists in Buenos Aires" tells Fabian Bielinsky, a master of personal journey films in Argentina, as a respond to an interview question after one of his early films, Nine Queens(*1).

"Then I started to concentrate on characters" he adds. Nine Queens was his directorial debut in the year 2000, by virtue of which he scratched the surface of mastering idiosyncratic character-driven story craft. He considers every protagonist or antagonist he designed for the screen as a social comment on society. Foundationally neither of his characters are straightforward nor stereotypical.

Nobody can Stereotype a Taxidermist truly not even the Taxidermist himself

Designating a taxidermist is an often way of sketching out a serial killer in typical horror movies since Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho(1960/*2). But aren't there any movies that can exemplify a pleasant taxidermist?

    Not too many, but there are some:

    - Ernest Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro(1952) in Adventure
    - a History/Fantasy setting adapted from comic book series Prince Valiant(1954)
    - Terry Gilliam's Tideland(2005) in Drama/Fantasy
    - Air Force One(1997) in Action starring Harrison Ford
    - Ultraviolet(2006) in Action starring Milla Jovovich
    - the Family Comedy franchises Look Who's Talking Now(1989-1993) and Problem Child(1990-1995)
    - a sit-com feature Comedy Dinner for Schmucks(2010)
    - a Family Comedy/Romance The Wedding Date(2005)
    - Mary and Max(2009) in Animation/Comedy


Try to recall a taxidermist in a film you've seen, who left an indelible mark in your imagination. If you can't recall one, you will find Esteban Espinosa to do this for you.

Esteban Espinosa performed by actor Ricardo Darin

There are 4 outstanding character benchmarks in Espinosa's character, which set up 3 plot-points for the film.

    1. His occupation and his life:

Espinosa makes a living by hunting animals and filling up animal-hides from wild-life. Like the antelopes and birds he hunts, he feels himself an instrument of nature. Over and above like the animal-hides he fills up, his inner self is eviscerated that what he does for living keeps him away from being socialized with public. He is alienated due to his occupation.

    2. His self-awareness and his disability:

Disabled people don't often live alone, since they need to be looked after for health reasons. Yet Espinosa is a person who never consults to anybody's help. You will wonder why.

    3. His self-harm and his perfectionism:

Perfectionist people often worry about little things, and pay too much attention to petty details and spend too much time to complete simple tasks. If you have epilepsy, this is not always a good idea; because due to your disability you may never complete what you've started, which might cause accidents without your control. Being too perfectionist is a way of harming yourself more and more.

    4. His violent dreams as product of his criminal mind and his above-average operative skills:

Espinosa is a naturalist and jack of all trades, has a strong memory of visuals and is very observant. He is good at observing people's strengths and weaknesses as soon as he meets them for the first time. These are the essential skills to become a spy or a detective, generally speaking. He also has a hidden adventurous character. He likes trouble for he likes testing his limits. Thus he pokes his nose into everything. He steals, collects and carries with him almost everything he thinks it's useful. In fact, Esteban Espinosa character could be an awesome hero for a Point-and-click Adventure Game.

3 Plot Points

For Espinosa everybody stands indifferent to him. So nobody is special for him. A stranger, a newly met friend, a close relative, or even his best friend... They are all the same for him. The true peace of mind for a perfect spy!

But at the same time due to his distrust to people in his life, he is vulnerable to be attacked from his weakest point. In most cases in typical spy/detective movies, say Basic Instinct for instance, it's always someone you know closely and you'd never suspect them to harm you, but then they end up stabbing you in the back. Whereas here in El Aura, we don't have any mystery/crime setting. Instead El Aura has been done in adventure style.

Plot Point 1:
When Espinosa was attacked from his weakest point, it was his own fault. He was hunting a deer with his rifle gun, and suddenly had a fit of epilepsy attack. When he waked up from his epilepsy, he found himself shot an innocent man instead of the deer he aimed for. This is the beginning of Espinosa's adventure. He needs to get away with murder.

Plot Point 2:
Espinosa joins a gang to rob a bank using the identity of the man he killed in the forest.

Plot Point 3:
Espinosa is blackmailed by the gang whose members have clues that he has killed a member of their gang. He encounters with other people from the neighborhood to reveal the gang's next criminal target, so that he can stop them before they commit the crime.

Production Qualities and Final Message

Good acting performance by Ricardo Darin in such a thrilling story keeps the tension at highest. It's a very slow movie and mostly silent. Many viewers have considered this a sleeper. But if you focus on what you can find interesting to watch(characters, landscapes, unusual events), minute after minute the film gets very engaging. After all this is an adventure in thriller format with lots of unique mystery pieces.

The last scenes are a bitterness that permeates the bones. Through the end of El Aura the social message's concern deepens and submerges entirely in bitterness. The character has returned to work and the usual routine took over with which the film began. Nothing has changed? "The society might still be the same but its members in this side of the country has changed dramatically. The dark side has gone into hiding, but has been there, threatening, ready to peek again, and although not manifesting again we have also seen Espinoza changing sides." analyze Leer Cine(*4), an Argentinian film critic source.

References Used and External Links


(*2) http://www.filmsite.org/psyc.html



my El Aura review on IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0420509/reviews-39


Epilepsy, Fabian Bielinsky, Last Wish, Perfect Crime, Perfectionist, Point And Click Adventure, Recurrent Acute Attacks, Self-Discovery, Self-Harm, Taxidermy

Meet the author

author avatar Sean_Victorydawn
Cihan, mid-senior level experienced publicist and production coordinator, works for the local Ottawa media production company Victorydawn Pictures since 2012.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar cnwriter..carolina
27th Jan 2014 (#)

you really are knowledgeable about the film business Sean...kudos and blessings to you...

Reply to this comment

author avatar Lady Aiyanna
27th Jan 2014 (#)

Well, just make sure there are technological gadgets, with spies, espionage, along with media criminals who throng hoping the make the story of someone's chat session with the husband into a screenplay knowing that he was into the work of getting tainted money that had chips and dotting that brought about the colour that killed many within the forest that led to the little girl hidden within the unconfirmed tribe coming as the gift to the Father from his dead wife.

I write on www.facebook.com/LadyAiyanna1 - Well its US Copywright protected and original too....

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
29th Jan 2014 (#)

Nice post!

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?