Title:  Sdot the i

Release Date:  2005

Nationality and Language: UK/Spain, English

Running time: 91 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Distributor and Production Company:  Summitt

Director; Writer: Matthew Parkhill


Cast:   Gael Garcia Bernal, Natalia Verbeke, James D’Arcy

Technical: Panavision 2.3

Relevance to HPPUB site:  Sales culture and artistic temperament

Review: Okay, and “cross the T.” (That is a song in the movie.) Tagline: “Danger in the details.”


A first writing, this movie seems like a heterosexual complement to “Bad Education.” It was Spanish financed, even though it is in English and takes place in a rather dark and pubby London (I spotted Trafalgar Square once). Mexican-born (but Mediterranean-looking) Gael Garcia Barnal (his name sort of communicates the ethnic diversity of Spain itself as a country) steals the show again as an actor (“Kit”) who wants to make it, maybe to the A List—so he happens upon some filmmakers who will videotape him in a kind of “reality video” crashing in on newlyweds as the third vertex of an isosceles love triangle (with Carmen, played by Natalia Verneke, and Barnaby, played by a conventionally handsome James D’Arby. No, Clive Owen and Jude Law are nowhere to be seen (this is not “Closer”), though you kind of expect to see them. Instead, Tom Hardy and Charlie Cox play the young tagteam filmmakers characters Tom and Theo (they may be gay—see the closing credit) intent on becoming “famous” and intent in doing anything to get publicity (“to be famous you have to f__k somebody over!)


The story, of course, is non-linear, sometimes in real time, sometimes in various digital clips. The film is in standard 1.85:1 aspect ratio format, and could have benefited from a full wide-screen 2.3:1 format (which “Bad Education” offers). The story builds up with its sensual encounters, including one rather graphic bedroom scene where Barnal is revealed—and then of course their movie gets made and is ready to get an Indiefest award—when there is some Hitchcock-like action at the climax. Call it murder. Call this a murder comedy, maybe. In the end, it seems very funny.


Barnal, however, is the perfect actor to play someone aspiring to get to the A List. “What you have to go through to get there.” (But that is my tagline.)



Related reviews: Bad Education


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