Picks and Pans Review: Time for Revenge

updated 02/07/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/07/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

An ingenious political tract deftly disguised as a tensely involving drama, this Argentinian film was written and directed by Adolfo Aristarain. Its star is Federico Luppi, who is as much a screen presence to be reckoned with as Paul Newman. The comparison arises because the plot is at times strikingly similar to Newman's The Verdict. Both tell of tired, seemingly disillusioned men rising up to battle corporate power structures, and both insist on the durability of idealism. Luppi plays a former radical who now just wants to make a living and accepts a job as a dynamiter at a copper mine owned by an international conglomerate. When he's confronted by the company's brutal treatment of its workers, though, he is gradually persuaded to join a plot to defraud the firm. He ends up pretending to be rendered mute by an explosion; the connection between the company's role in his silence and the Argentinian government's repression of free speech is not hard to make. Luppi and Haydee Padilla, who plays his devoted wife, are both subtle actors who communicate great dignity. They provide an engrossing form for Aristarain's political comments. (In Spanish, with English subtitles) (Not rated)

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