Extrano review

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Argentinean writer/director Santiago Loza's understated debut feature concerns a middle-aged ex-surgeon, Axel (Julio Chávez). Monosyllabically drifting through life and temporarily living with his sister (Raquel Albéniz) and her children, he encounters a pregnant young woman Erika (Valeria Bertuccelli), herself depressed by a close friend's suicide. The two spend time together, yet Axel seems reluctant to connect with her beyond listening.

Loza has fashioned a controlled piece of contemplative cinema: the dialogue is minimal, the editing elliptical, the music sparing and the colour palette muted, save for some mysterious splashes of red which may relate to Axel's former profession. This isn't a tale of redemption through romantic love, but it allows us to enter the melancholic internal world of its ambiguous protagonist.


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