Dos Hermanos


Going to the cinema can be an arduous ordeal at any time, not least when it you are in another country and the film is in a language other than your native tongue. Throwing caution to the wind, however, Old Rope braved the pictures once again in Buenos Aires. In one of my trademark displays of foresight and strength of character, I realised that The Agoraphobic Reviewer would require a write-up of the flick and took the necessary precautions. I bound my eyes with thick electrical tape (making me nostalgic for my childhood and the brutal caress of my mother) and stuffed my ears with popcorn, lest I see or hear any of the movie.

Alas, I made a schoolboy error, forgetting that I am in possession of an uncanny sixth sense, for which I know no method of successful suppression. As a result I can say with some conviction that the following account is true and accurate.

Dos Hermanos (literally ‘Two Brothers’, or in this case a brother and a sister… let’s call it ‘Two Siblings’) is the latest effort from the prolific Argentine film industry (Wikipedia lists twenty seven movies so far this year alone). At the helm is director Daniel Burman, who manages to steer this film from comedy to tragedy, from larfs to poignancy, from sweat-encrusted brows to spew-addled tramps glistening in the morning dew as the film tries to address what would happen if two human being were actually related to each other. Obviously we know this to be impossible, something confined to the realms of science fiction. But what with the recent developments in stem cell research and sexual intercourse, who knows what the future may bring. Before long the world might be full of ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’.

The film focuses on Lionel Messi (Antonio Gasella), the baddest brother in Buenos Aires and Suzanna (Graciella Borges), his louche and debauched sis. Between them they kick up a right storm, arguing, buying houses and burying their dead relatives. It’s a laugh riot. That is until Lionel drinks too much yerba mate, flips out and things take a turn for the fruity. Before long Christmas dinner is ruined and Aunty Maria Hernandez has had too much sherry and nodded off in front of the fire.

The action flits between Argentina and Buenos Aires (just like Old Rope did last week) and the subtle jokes and playful stereotypes of our aging hero’s attempts to behave like a Uruguayan are certain to translate well when the film is played out on the world stage. Either that or the light-hearted jibes directed at Montevideo will backfire and spark war. Argentina has been taking from Uruguay for too long now.

With war imminent we must choose sides, the proud but confused Argentina or the stubborn and steadfast Uruguay. You decide. In times like these film reviews seem trivial and pointless, worthy only of the attention of fools. So let’s crack on shall we?

Whilst Lionel is fucking about drinking yerba mate and trying to be an actor or something, Suzanna is getting right royally sloshed on champers, cavorting with art dealers and other highflyers and generally behaving like a strumpet. It’s like watching an Argie Joanna Lumley gambolling about like she used to with Jennifer Saunders, bevved up and working for the fashion industry, before she became general secretary of the Gurkhas Liberation Front or whatever it is. In other words it is absolutely fabulous, although of course I didn’t understand a word of it.

I give it 2point4 children.


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4 Responses to “Dos Hermanos”

  1. johnlebaptiste Says:

    Errrrrr. Siblings! Truly these are disturbing times. Do they have the same brain? Is that how it works?

    I have two questions:
    1) In the poster, why are they holding glasses up to the wall? Is that how Argentinians drink?
    2) What is Uruguay?

  2. oldrope Says:

    Due to inconsistencies in their genetic make-up (kind of like regular lipstick but for your cells) Argentines are incapable of drinking.

    What you are witnessing in the poster is a ceremoncial affair. The Argentine puts their ear to a glass, the glass to a wall. Then a high priest pours water into their other ear. If the water can somehow pass through the head and into the glass then the person is special and must be cast into the river. If they do not remark “it looks more like the sea to me” they are clearly insane and the Portenos throw empty bottles of Sprite and cows at them till they drown. If they DO say “it looks more like the sea to me” they are clearly sane and ay sane person can be presumed to know how to look after themselves and get back to the shore. In this case everyone goes home for some beef.

    As to your second question, Uruguay is a time in a young man’s life when he starts to feel different. These feelings are not necessarily wrong, but they are morally abhorrent and should be quashed by any means necessary. And it is necessary to be mean.

  3. johnlebaptiste Says:

    Great! I’ll have 2 of the above and 3 of the below!

    What sort of snacks do they serve in Argentine cinemas? Is it your standard popcorn ‘n’ pop fare or do they throw in some local idiosyncrasies, e.g. your beloved empanadas or some kind of greasy dumpling?

  4. oldrope Says:

    No, it seems to be largely the same. There were some things I could not identify, but they seemed to be broadly in the mcDonalds mould of crudely fashioned rudimentary foodstuff substitutes. Or paninis. They might have been paninis

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