Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Cast: Viviana Herrera, Andres Ulloa, Aline Küppenheim, Coca Guazzini, Jorge Alis, Francisco Copello
Director:Alicia Scherson

Christina is a young woman who has moved from the rural south to work in Chile’s capital Santiago. She works as a carer for an old Hungarian man, and doesn’t really know anyone in the city. So she gets lonely, wanders the streets, goes down the arcade to play Street Fighter II. But things change when she comes across Tristán’s briefcase. A man in crisis, his wife is leaving him so he moves in with his blind mother and her magician boyfriend, and due to industrial action he is out of work, and when this all happens he is mugged and his case stolen. Christina finds all this out by following Tristán, watching his wife Irene, trying to imitate her and get a feel for the couple’s life. She wanders everywhere now listening to the music on Tristán’s mp3 player, and tries to befriend a local gardener, a young man who is also always listening to music.

Play is one of those rambling films, near plotless in its progression, almost without dialogue at all for the first five minutes. Yet the colours of these Chilean streets provide a texture, the way that Christina follows these other people about and they don’t even notice provides a certain humour. There is something voyeuristic yet innocent about the way she acts, curious rather than invasive, bored rather than malicious. The film switches about some, so that we do also get into Tristán’s head and back again, though so much of it comes from Christina. She walks through a soundtrack by Joseph Costa and Marc Hellner, an electronic scape dreamy and suited to odd construction of the narrative. Overall Play is a pleasant watch, and its nice to see another film coming out of Chile.

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