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Tribeca 2019 Review: “Initials S.G.” (2019) ★★★


Film Festivals are always rich with titles that are extravagant, in a way even exotic, and out of reach for the viewers that largely prefer watching blockbusters. “Initials S.G.”, written and directed by Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia, is an interesting film about one “struggling actor” who looks for something big to happen and, fair to note, it does, but not quite in the way he expected.

Sergio Garces (Diego Peretti) is the perfect example of how days can turn from bad to worse. He is just released from prison on six-month probation after throwing an unnamed individual out of the window. A bicycle accident does not help him much by adding a blacker hole to his already unfortunate day. He is also not doing great with anger management therapy and, on top of that, Argentina is on the edge of reaching the finals of the World Cup where it might face the formidable German opposition which simply destroyed Brazil by scoring seven goals.

As the film starts, we learn about Sergio’s extensive role in porn films and having a variety of roles as an extra in feature films. He has many friends, and even likes an agent he met on the set. Things change for him when he meets an American sales agent (Julianne Nicholson) who sees in Sergio what many cannot. Is it because of her desire for thrilling adventure or an uneventful life she led, that when she finds Sergio with the dead body of his neighbor, make no mistake that she knew right away he is the one who killed, she not only agrees to stay with him but even eagerly helps him with the crime scene.

That said, the concept of the film is funny, weird but so intriguing that the voice of the narrator you hear throughout ensures you don’t try to escape Sergio and his madness. Frankly, it’s entertaining to follow him, and especially Julianne Nicholson’s part, I must say, was quite exquisite. From start to end, it never leaves you alone nor makes you feel bored. Everything about it is what independent cinema should always offer – a film with a storyline that will be accepted by only a selected number of viewers which I hope you, same as myself, were one of them. Because it’s a great company to be with when we know what the true meaning of art and cinema is, and “Initials S.G.” is evidence of that.

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