For Reel

Magical Girl (2014)
April 2, 2015, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Carlos Vermut
4 Stars
Magical GirlRecessionary Spain is the backdrop of this pitch black neo-noir. A defeatist sensibility has so thoroughly sunk in that a library’s copy of the Spanish Constitution becomes a central prop due to its convenience as being the book least likely to be borrowed. If the inhumanity that stems from the crossroads between passion and economics doesn’t always strike the same effectively satirical notes, Magical Girl nonetheless involves an impressively taut narrative, stringing together disparate elements in a way that feels both organic and masterfully constructed (as in the work of David Lynch). Each act tells the story from the point-of-view of three intersecting characters, raising the stakes methodically as it builds to an inevitably violent climax. Luis Bermejo gives a wonderfully sympathetic performance as the father of a dying girl (Lucia Pollan) who unfortunately sets the wheels in motion for a series of tragedies. He plays the character as self-loathing (when asked what his ideal superpowers would be, he says to be invisible and massless) but ultimately selfless, showing a touching commitment to the love that he has for his daughter.

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