In Rosario, a large city in Argentina, we watch as a group of friends gather for the celebratio...展开n of Pablo's thirty eight birthday. The party takes place in a large place near the river. There are a lot of friends that have come together to celebrate with him. Everything on the surface, at least, points to a night of fun, but there's something in the air to show not all is great with Pablo and his friends.
As with every type of gatherings of this nature, we get to see, and hear, some intimate conversations that tend to go underneath the surface of all what we are watching. Truths come out in the open as the guests group and re-group. Pablo, who is separated from his wife, must face an uncertain future on his own. When his former wife arrives with their child, it puts Pablo on an edge.
Gustavo Postiglione, the director, does wonders with this film. It reflects, in part, how Argentines of the middle class have seen a big change in their lives with the economical problems the country has had to deal with since the year 2000, when everything collapsed. The film reminds of Chekov, in the way the different lives touch one another. Being in a provincial city is not the same as being in Buenos Aires. There is always something missing, which most the characters long for.
"El cumple" is part of a trilogy. First there was "El asadito", which also deals with another, more intimate gathering. The last one "La peli" hasn't been produced yet, but we can look forward to it hoping it will close the circle the director started. The cinematography, by Fernando Zago surprises. Fito Paez and Ivan Tarivelli are credited with the music we hear in the background.
Raul Calandra, who appears as Pablo, does a fine job. The other cast members are also an asset in the film. Gustavo Postiglione shows he has talent and one can only look forward to more of his films.