Mi gran noche (Alex de la Iglesia, 2015)

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Mi gran noche, directed by Alex de la Iglesia (2015).

Score: I give you the grotesque.

When I was a kid I wanted to be a dancer to work in a TV dance crew. In the late Eighties and early Nineties, every TV show worth of its name, no matter if it was a game show, a talent show or a late night show, always had scantily clad fit young ladies who danced for no particular reason. Now I’ve grown too lazy to dance and dance crews have mostly disappeared from TV, but there is still one place where they shine, once a year: New Year TV specials.

New Year TV specials are recorded months before the actual New Year, during the day, by extras in untimely elegant clothes who are asked to dance, laugh and clap at something which really isn’t there. And people are kind of sick and tired of unemployment and hardship to effectively pretend they are in ecstasy that 2016 has finally arrived.This is the absurd premise the movie throws you into within the first five minutes.

You know by now that I’m a sucker for lights, glitter, sexual innuendo and dance numbers, and I wish real New Year TV specials were as elegantly shot as this. And they fucking got Raphael to play a parody of his real life persona. Virtually everyone you have ever seen in Spanish TV is here, sometimes only as background characters with a couple of lines.

This doesn’t want to be realistic. This doesn’t want to be restrained. This doesn’t want to be thought-provoking, either. It just wants to be grotesque, and it succeeds at it. Don’t expect great jokes. If you’re going to laugh, it’s going to be at the Dantesque atmosphere and the decadence it all exudes.

This is much closer to El día de la bestia or La comunidad than it is to The Oxford Murders. I’m still at a loss why people thought it was so bad and because of those bad reviews De la Iglesia is not going to make any more like that one (seriously, why?) Anyway, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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