Venice80: “El Conde”, Pinochet the Vampire Larren Doesn’t Bite

Today at the competition of the Venice Film Festival 2023 it is presented to the public”El Conde, a dark horror comedy directed by Pablo Larraín, which was watched by the press last night instead. Movie gets on Netflix already starting September 15, but it will be difficult for him to reach the top of the most viewed rankings on the platform. “El Conde” tells the story Augusto Pinochetthe Chilean dictator, re-imagining him as a vampire who, born during the French Revolution, decides to renounce his own immortality at the age of 250.

Tony Manero, After Death and No are titles in which the Chilean director has already portrayed life under Pinochet’s dictatorship. However, this time it uses grotesque register to analyze it from a new angle, metaphorical, of course, but also unconvincing. The narrative is redundant and flows into a kind of political fiction with a supernatural element that doesn’t amuse or make you think. In the beginning, we see an elderly Pinochet (Jaime Weidel) who likes to be called Conte and lives in a ruined villa nestled in the desert wasteland, along with his wife Lucia (Gloria Münchmeyer) and faithful butler (Alfredo Castro). We are located in the south of Chile. The count feeds on the human blood of his victims, he took part in many epochal historical events until he decided to make a career and become in his own way the king of South America. Here, married to a woman more shrewd than he, and even less scrupulous, she follows his advice and obeys. coup which brought him to power in 1973, exactly fifty years ago.

At some point, when justice seems to be on the way and his bad deeds are in danger of having personal consequences, he decides to play dead. Retired from public life, moves to existential crisis when he begins to think how ungrateful people are to him: he was forgotten by all the many entrepreneurs whose fortune he made as a corrupt president, there is still no bust in his honor in his old presidential palace, and so on. It has death wish indeed, and so he decides to eliminate blood from his diet in order to give up eternal life. When someone in the city starts stealing the hearts of accidentally killed unfortunate victims, the children show up at his house, a little suspicious and a little time to realize where the legacy is hidden before it’s too late.

From Pablo Larrainconstant participation in the competitions of the Venice Film Festival, after the precedents of “Jackie” with Natalie Portman, “Ama” and “Spencer” with Kristen Stewart, much more was expected than what instead seems false step. What on paper seemed like a powerful political metaphor, backed up by satirical and supernatural elements, as well as an allegory of evil and a condemnation of the brutal impunity that some powerful people like this autocrat and murderer have always enjoyed, is actually a whirlwind of boring parody and repetitiveness. In elegant black and white taste for framing The exceptional “El Conde” does not develop too much the whimsical narrative device by which it recalls how the blood of an entire country was sucked out. It emphasizes that the dictator died, never stood trial, as a free man and a millionaire, but nothing more. The movie soon becomes delusional waste of ideas which end up curling up on their own.

Barren nonsensewhich only works when it looks like a Wes Anderson film, but which, however, negates key features of Anderson being filmed. In black and white and with terrible veins. Who knows, if this had been the original idea for a miniseries, it would have worked better.

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