Review: Rooster’s Blood / La Sangre del Gallo (2015)

Rooster’s Blood / La Sangre del Gallo (dir. Mariano Dawidson, 2015) – Beaten and bloodied, Damian is unable to remember how he got there, or why. 

Verdict

This moody kidnap thriller is as much an engaging mystery as it is, visual panache.

4/5

Review

If you have a thing for gritty thrillers from the independent scene, La Sangre del Gallo will be right up your seedy alley. A promising directorial debut by Mariano Dawidson, the Argentinian film foregrounds the dark brutality of criminal underworld, uncompromising in its show of violence from the get-go.

The opening introduces Damian (Santiago Pedrero) in a bad place, captive and bloodied during an iron-fisted interrogation. Questions and punches rain without relent. Still, his past remains a blur. As he struggles to recall painful memories, the age-old narrative device of flashbacks serves well to unravel the mystery at hand.

La Sangre del Gallo
Amnesiac? Maybe this will help.

The continuous assault may imply chaos, but the minimalist thriller turns out taut and focused. An intimate affair in revealed in Damian’s search for his biological father, known only as del Gallo, or The Rooster (Eduardo Sapac). Secrets of his past come to light piecemeal in his impassioned journey, in search of his identity during a time of loss.

An assured visual style is the chief draw of the film. Director Mariano Dawidson builds a rich sensory experience with noir influences, lending hypnotic ambiguity to Damian’s state of mind. Budget appears to be of minimal constraint. There is almost a scarred quality to the neat editing, as his recollections return in fragmented form.

La Sangre del Gallo
“Go ahead. Make my day.”

Visually accomplished, La Sangre del Gallo proves another unmissable gem of genre fare with its gripping atmosphere. This is also in part due to Santiago Pedrero’s mesmerising lead performance. Through his damaged character, he channels his emotional turmoil through in pulsing and almost tangible terms.

To a stirring orchestral and sometimes grating soundtrack, effective intensity escalates. Even though the trite ending feels inadequate after all that pent-up tension, it is undeniable that the raw emotions ring true, and last.

La Sangre del Gallo is available on Netflix.

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18 thoughts on “Review: Rooster’s Blood / La Sangre del Gallo (2015)

  1. I don’t think I have ever seen a film from Argentina before, but seriously this sounds absolutely awesome. I am always interested in movies which have a bit of a dark atmosphere, and this therefore sounds great 😊 I just checked if this is available here as well, and it luckily is. Am probably going to see this one somewhere in the weekend. Thanks for sharing this one, and as always a fantastic review 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you’ll like this one! Argentina has been churning out some fairly interesting films in the indie scene. It’s a good break from Hollywood’s big-budget formula. Thanks much for dropping by, Michel! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like it when they do flashbacks in a movie, makes it very interesting! Awesome review Jade, I need to check out this movie, you make it sound very interesting! : D

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There are a lot of great movies to find. Amores perros is one I recommend to everyone (and pretty much anything with Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga names attached to them are worthwhile, actually).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for the recommendation, Amores perros is definitely going on my watch list! I’ve been meaning to check out Alejandro González Iñárritu’s pre-Biutiful works. 😊

          Liked by 1 person

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