'The Dancer Upstairs'
(Javier Bardem, Laura Morante / R / 128 mins / Lola Films)
Overview: Police officer Agustin Rejas (Bardem) attempts to track down the leader of a Marxist guerrila group, Ezequiel (Malkovich). Rejas searches for over a 12 year period, leading him to an encounter with Yolanda (Morante), a dance teacher, which changes his life.
Verdict: 'The Dancer Upstairs' is ultimately undone by a combination of Malkovich's somnambulant pace and screenwriter Nicholas Shakespeare's desire to focus upon the least interesting aspects of the production. And although it does succeed in holding the interest of the audience - even through moments of utter confusion and suicidal boredom - whilst initially engrossing, 'The Dancer Upstairs' slackens in its second half. Basically, 'The Dancer Upstairs' is sober, deliberate, self-consciously mysterious and no fun at all!
Reviewed by Russell A. Trunk
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