Director: Diego Rougier
Cast: Fele Martinez, Javiera Contador, Sergio Hernandez, Patricio Contreras, Gonzalo Valenzuel, Luis Dubo
Country: Chile, Spain
Language: English, Spanish with English subtitles
Filmmakers love to make movies about making movies, and “Salt” is the kind of film we get as a result. It wanders a bit, unsure of its purpose and footing (or maybe I just couldn’t figure out what the purpose was), and although it meanders through interesting and engaging territory, its ending is not particularly satisfying.
Would-be director Sergio can’t get producers to buy his film: they don’t like the script. After being told yet again that there’s no life in his story and it reads like he’s never been to the setting, Sergio sets off to visit the locale again for research: the Atacama Desert in Chile. Once there, he finds himself mistaken for a small-town hero and is plunged into a battle he has nothing to do with. Desperate to get enough of a feel for the place to make his script salable, Sergio stays, and endures bar brawls, kidnapping, torture, and even an old-fashioned showdown with six-shooters.
“Salt” plays with the familiar Western tropes, and its characters are engaging as much because of the fact they are stereotypes as in spite of it. There are moments that can be difficult to watch — this is definitely a Western in the brutal, bloody school — and Sergio’s likability only adds to that. He does his best once he gives up and embraces the role of unwilling hero, but he’s ultimately a writer, not a cowboy.
If you’re curious about what a Western made by a Spanish filmmaker would look like, don’t miss this.
3/4 4:15 PM Camera 12
3/8 4:15 PM Camera 12