Sunday, September 18, 2005

Movie Review: Nine Queens

One of the movies that has long been on my yet-to-see list is "Nine Queens", an Argentinian crime caper dating back to 2001. I finally watched it this weekend and it was well worth the wait. Nine Queens is very much in the tradition of David Mamet's flicks, with a story revolving around a pair of con men trying to pull a fast one selling fake stamps to a billionaire philatelist. Of course, the story gets more complicated in a hurry with cons within cons within cons as a diverse cast of colorful characters try to outwit one another. All very Mamet-esque, except that the setting is the vibrant city of Buenos Aires, the people are more interesting, the plot is cleverer, and the dialogue, while not as sharp, still crackles with energy.

As with most post-1995 movies, Nine Queens also has a case of the Keyser Soze syndrome, feeling the need to conclude with a twist that sheds new light on the proceedings of the entire movie. As is usually the case with such movies, the twist also does not make sense and opens up huge holes in the storyline. However, such overzealousness is more easily forgiven in this film that hardly puts a foot wrong in its clever plotting right till the very end.

At the end of it all, what we are left with is a highly enjoyable film that is guaranteed to both entertain and exercise the mind. On the other hand, the movie is highly plot-centric, limiting its rewatchability quotient and placing it a clear notch lower than more well-rounded films such as The Usual Suspects, Fight Club and Seven.

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