TIFF 2018 Review: “El Angel” (2018) ★★★★

Photo by The Orchard – © The Orchard 2018

Movies based on true events are always interesting to watch whether it manages to capture the true fact or avoid highlighting everything gruesome to not scare viewers like us. Practically, “El Angel”, co-written by Luis Ortega, Sergio Olguin and Rodolfo Palacios and directed by Luis Ortega himself is one such example, if to circle back online to refer to the actual events, you see how much the co-writer and director tried not to include in the film. And if you happen to know the real events that occurred around Carlos Robledo Puch, the real Argentinian serial killer, then you already know it was for our own good.

“El Angel” follows Carlos Puch, with an angelic look, curly hair, and slightly looking like Marilyn Monroe, has a determination which could lead him all the way up. But his “up” was a different path he decides to enter – robberies, rape, killing. And the way he would do it was pure joy for him, as if it was his destiny. The movie is a fictionalised portrait of Carlos Robledo Puch, the real serial killer, that made him the longest-serving prisoner in Argentina, as of now.

We don’t know how things would unfold for Carlos if he had not meet Ramon, his new classmate at a new school. That brief encounter at school makes Ramon to look at Carlos in such a way that he decides to introduce him to his father, an experienced criminal who was released from prison recently. First, everything begins with a robbery. However, Carlos especially was not shy in killing. In fact, it was so easy for him to take a life, as if he was the one who gave it to his victims in the first place.

“El Angel” is one of those movies that does not require many words to be written about. It must be seen, at least, for the incredible performance of Lorenzo Ferro as Carlos, who was pretty much a look- alike of the real serial killer. His physical appearance was enough for any viewer to never doubt as to why the press back then dubbed Carlos Robledo Puch as “The Angel of Death”. Chino Darin as Ramon, Carlos’ best buddy was unquestionably brilliant.

In conclusion, Luis Ortega’s “El Angel” is another decent film that makes a successful attempt to fictionalize true events. The director does an amazing job in presenting Carlo Puch in a dark light in a charismatic way. You, as a viewer, will never fall for Carlos, but will never stop being amazed nevertheless how it even happened that he, for some reason, turns out to be a natural criminal, with skills any other bad guy perhaps would be jealous of. And that credit, I should repeat again, must go to the young actor Lorenzo Ferro, for getting into Puch’s skin so convincingly.

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