- Cert: 15PG
- Details: US and UK / 100 mins / .
Emma Thompson as a 1970s Argentinean crusading journalist? Accept that and you'll probably get Imagining Argentina just fine. Fail to grasp the prim 'n' proper Thompson getting down and you'll be all too willing to unravel the mess of inconsistencies that populate the plot of Imagining Argentina.
Hollywood's favourite hunky Latino-fits-all Antonio Banderas plays Carlos, a theatre director in economic stricken and politically shaky Argentina. His missus, Cecilia (Thompson) has joined the swelling numbers of the missing, abducted by the secret police and is feared dead. Carlos and their daughter Teresa (Leiticia Dolera) aren't prepared to give up so easily and search for clues that could lead them to Cecilia. But Carlos realises that he's in possession of some hefty powers of clairvoyance, and manages to see what is happening with the detainees and, most importantly, his wife.
While the material has a meaty edge to it - political, social and economic upheaval are as hefty as they come - the director Christopher Hampton seems to be in a rush to categorise his characters and chomp his story into easy to digest soundbites. Rather than allowing the narrative to flow and follow its own natural rhythms, he imposes too much of a strict set of guidelines on the piece, never allowing characters or atmosphere to form. His eagerness to draw simplistic notions reaches its nadir with a couple of pat comparisons late on in the film, but at that stage, Imagining Argentina should only be a bad memory.
Review by Garreth Murphy | 09:00 | Tuesday 27th April 2004 | Movie Review
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