Argentinian writer-director Rodrigo Moreno reinvents the heist movie from the inside out with this playful, inventive story about work-life balance.
Imagine this: you work at a bank in Córdoba, Argentina. It’s a steady, undemanding job — maybe a little dull — but you do it well. Then, one day, a co-worker tells you he’s stolen $650,000 and wants you to stash it for him for a while. You’ll get half. That’s all there is to it. Just keep quiet.
Most filmmakers would see this as the jumping-off point for a taut, nervous thriller, but that’s just not how Rodrigo Moreno rolls. The Argentine writer-director (A Mysterious World, TIFF ’11) is more interested in how relationships form and dissolve under the pressures of ordinary life, and the way people respond to radical change. The Delinquents lets him play with those ideas in the context of a genre we think we know inside out.
Certainly, being offered $325,000 (US!) for doing almost nothing is a radical change for Roman (Esteban Bigliardi), who’s less interested in the morality of becoming an accomplice to his colleague Morán (Daniel Elias) than he is in where Morán wants him to hide the cash. And that leads him, and the film, to a long interlude in the countryside, where Roman will meet some very nice people and discover a whole new, enticing way of living.
If you think you know where this is going, well, Moreno knows that too. The Delinquents doesn’t just subvert our expectations ― it actively challenges them, crafting a strange, loopy journey through a very clever crime that takes us to something like enlightenment. Enjoy the ride.
Content advisory: mature themes