2019, Movies

Heroic Losers (2019, Sebastián Borensztein)

This is an enjoyable, albeit flawed, heist comedy about a group of townspeople whose dreams of resurrecting their town’s granary are devastated by the “Corralito”, a reaction to a run on the banks during the Argentine Great Depression. It’s hits the standard heist movie beats, but it is refreshing both because of how funny it is and because of how amateurish everyone involved is.


This is a consistently funny film that manages to balance that humour with some real tragedy early in the film, without coming across as tonally messy. The film is very much in the “lovable losers” variety but, because I don’t know much about Argentina, these lovable losers feel new to me. Moreover, the setting of the film, in the early 2000s, gives some real opportunities for both humour for the Argentine audience (who know what’s coming) and the international audience, which appreciates jokes about early cell phones.

For me, there were two pretty big flaws. The first is the series of plot holes or, really, missing scenes, about how some of the plot comes together. This is already a two hour film, but it felt like the romantic subplot could have been cut out for more attention to detail on the actual mechanics of investigating the mark.

The second flaw is the sheer sentimentality of parts of the movie, particularly the ending. As you know, I am not a fan of unambiguous things and the ending, though not entirely unambiguous, is about as happy as it gets, something that I just don’t enjoy but also I feel doesn’t quite fit the tone of the rest of the film.

Still, I enjoyed the movie a lot while I was watching it. I feel like it’s very much one of those movies which, had I seen it as an American, film, I would have enjoyed it less, but when experiencing it as a film from another culture, I’m a little more forgiving when it comes to some of its flaws.


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