Review of ‘The fourth passenger’, a trip to madness
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It is not the first time that this ingenious hidalgo of our cinema, Álex de la Iglesia, accompanied by his faithful squire, Jorge Guerricaechevarría, travels tortuous paths together with an imaginary of characters and situations that swing between the horrific and the endearingly grotesque. Perfect strangers meeting the advent of the Evil One in ‘The Day of the Beast’, criminals addicted to Santeria bound for an unusual western (by Robert Aldrich, another brilliant and illustrious fat man) and petty thieves, rogue guides and street hustlers. finally, aboard a car that will park in the matriarchal castle of ‘The witches of Zugarramurdi’. His latest feature film, ‘El cu4rto passenger’, is another one of those quixotic odysseys carried out by strange traveling companions, a sort ofhe ‘Castaways’, by Alfred Hitchcock, to the devilish cartoon rhythm of other odyssey addicts (‘The odyssey’ of Homer): the Coen brothers of the crazycartoon and on a highway ‘Arizona Baby’. From the film by (one more) proud British genius, Álex de la Iglesia takes the human element (although it could be satanic, from Carabanchel, a demonic beast or a santero psychopath) anomalous and disturbing, an Ernesto Alterio of sublime destroyer charm ( a sort of Vittorio Gassman from ‘The Getaway’ with tics of Jim Carrey from ‘A Madman at Home’) who will become the catalyst for a whole series of catastrophic misfortunes and magnificent gags, but above all for the transformation of the rest of his companions , beginning with an excellent Alberto San Juan, who is fitting blows and slapstick artillery with the stoicism of Cary Grant or Rock Hudson in a Howard Hawks comedy.
‘The fourth passenger’ is at bottom a romantic comedy, which is also not something foreign to the director’s opus, a slapstick on the road reinterpretation of Goethe’s ‘Faust’ in which that silent lover Alberto San Juan he sells his soul (and becomes something else) to the mephistophelian character of Ernesto Alterio in order to achieve the favors of a Margarita who here is called Lorena and has the face of a Blanca Suárez who is also a worthy heiress of the Hawksian universe. An electrifyingly funny film where that gallery of immense supporting actors related to the De la Iglesia team appears again (Enrique Villén or Jaime Ordóñez, for example)necessary so that the rhythm does not falter in a dance of comic masks (another constant in the director’s cinema) that is even metaphorically reminiscent of those of the robbers who share the route in ‘The Fourth Man’, Phil’s noir masterpiece Karlson, also a love story with a Cupid in arms.
For fellow travelers of the most unruly and romantic Álex de la Iglesia
Address: Alex de la Iglesia Distribution: Alberto San Juan, Blanca Suarez, Ernesto Alterio, Ruben Cortada, Carlos Areces Country: Spain Year: 2022 Release date: 28–10-2022 Gender: Comedy Script: Jorge Guerricaechevarria, Alex de la Iglesia Duration: 99 min.
Synopsis: Julián, a 50-year-old divorcee with financial problems, uses an application to share his car with strangers and, especially, with someone who is not so stranger anymore: Lorena, a young woman who often travels to Madrid. For months she has had a fixed seat in her car and lately also in her heart.
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