Movie Review: The Clan


The Clan opens in select New Zealand cinemas from October 13.

THE CLAN (R13, 108 mins)   Directed by Pablo Trapero ★★★★ Reviewed by James Croot

Here's something the Chasing Great creators could only dream about. The cinematic story of a star rugby player becoming it's country of origin's highest-grossing movie of all time.

Then again, this is less about Argentinean Alejandro Puccio's (Peter Lanzani) skills with the oval ball and more about his family's transformation from middle-class model citizens to serial kidnappers in the mid-1980s.

A cross between The Godfather and Australia's Animal Kingdom, Pablo Trapero's based-on-fact drama uses Alejandro as the family's fall guy, a fresh, friendly face who finds himself increasingly conflicted between his burgeoning rugby career and his former intelligence service officer father Arquimedes' (Guillermo Francella) increasingly risky "financial solution". It becomes especially troubling when his team-mates are the ones disappearing.

Peter Lanzani and Guillermo Francella star in The Clan

Peter Lanzani and Guillermo Francella star in The Clan

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While not as intense or compelling as fellow Argentine film The Secret in Their Eyes, Trapero shows plenty of cinematic flourishes and style, from the Coppola-esque use of juxtaposed imagery to the eclectic soundtrack which includes cuts from the likes of The Kinks and David Lee Roth.

At it's heart is a chilling performance from Francella. More known for his comedic characters, the 61-year-old, who here looks like a doppelganger for Christopher Walken, is a ghostly, ghastly patriarchal presence whose maniacal manipulations culminate in a truly shocking denouement.


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