Mexican-Uruguayan filmmaker Rodrigo Plá’s tense, darkly funny hostage drama “A Monster With A Thousand Heads” (Un monstruo de mil cabezas) is bold for several reasons, not the least its real-time-seeming duration and medium-feature length, sixty-four minute runtime. The sketched-in conflict—a woman, a gun, her husband denied an effective medicine by the indifferent, bureaucratic rigors of Mexico’s health industry—rises to pressure cooker tension and melodramatic abandon of a kind eschewed by Jodie Foster’s quieter, quirkier “Money Monster.” The sound design is often as ingeniously alarming as the bold widescreen images by cinematographer Odei Zabaleta are attentive and inventive. With Jana Raluy, who wields charismatic firepower even without her gun, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Emilio Echevarría, Sebastián Aguirre. 74m. (Ray Pride)
“A Monster With A Thousand Heads” plays June 10-16 at Siskel. The trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.