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2002 - R - 108 Mins.
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Producer: Enrique Lopez Lavigne
Written By: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and Andres M. Koppel
Starring: Leonardo Sbaraglia, Eusebio Poncela, Monica Lopez, Antonio Dechent, Antonio Perez Dechent
Review by: Joe Rickey
Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Intacto weaves many disparate characters together in the service of a story that concerns the mysterious nature of luck. At a random casino a gambler is on an unbelievable winning streak. Then another man touches his playing hand and the streak ends soon after. The man happened to be a friend of the casino owner, himself a survivor of the Holocaust. The younger man, named Frederico, is thinking of running away from the casino and its owner to go out on his own. He is unable to go for various reasons and finds that he has lost his luck. He then becomes determined to find someone as lucky as he once was himself. His journey incorporates many other characters such as a police officer and a criminal along with a secret gambling society. The gambling society is much more than what it seems at first as the very souls of people seem to be laid on the line each game.

How does one become lucky? Why do some people seem to have luck on their side more than others? These are some of the questions that Intacto raises as its rather convoluted storyline progresses. That storyline, although interesting at the start, becomes much too convoluted as the film nears its conclusion to keep the attention of even the most dedicated viewers. The film isn’t helped by a script completely devoid of any sort of comic relief as every event that occurs is handled in a very serious manner by director Fresnadillo. The cinematography is dark and attempts to reinforce the overall mood of the film. Unfortunately, it is very dank and sometimes is shoddily composed making it seem sloppy. At times, it really seems to attempt the dark look too much as some brightness and relief could have been utilized to give the viewer some sort of relief.

Max Von Sydow plays his normal character type and is decent while doing so. As Frederico, Eusebia Poncela is at times more whiny than is necessary and lacks the conviction that the role calls for. The rest of the actors do what they can with roles that are underwritten and filled with many overly portentous lines of dialogue.

Overall, Intacto is a rather disappointing film because of a heavy-handed directorial style, sloppy cinematography, and a lackluster performance by a key character in the film. It could have been so much more had there been a few casting changes and had a more experienced director been at the helm.
Movie Guru Rating
Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better. Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better.
  2 out of 5 stars

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