review

'El Reino': astute script with sharp dialogue

Onze score

To what extent does this Spanish political thriller diverge from reality? Less than we hope? Or much less?

Before you start complaining about anti-politics, the objective of this film is clearly to entertain the viewer with an increasingly exigent story and not to convince you that politicians are corrupt, elitist profiteers who have to back-bite and tie themselves into knots to survive in the snake pit.

But that is the lasting impression that the film makes. The camera follows a self-assured and ambitious career politician (the excellent Antonio de la Torre). To his surprise, he is dragged into a growing scandal. He won’t stand for it and seeks revenge against all those who hung him out to dry or dropped him like a hot brick.

There is the occasional bit of action, but most of the tension is created by the faultlessly filmed, astute script with sharp dialogue. If you look at the plot in detail, you might find a few moments that are completely implausible, but why should that spoil the fun?

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