Dir. Daniel Andres Werner (2021)
A young man who is having an affair with his high-school teacher runs away with her to a remote estate. Unfortunately for him, he is being lured into a game of sex, power, and money.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Something ominous is afoot in the Argentinian erotic thriller Amor Bandidos, a new film from Cinephobia Releasing that plays out like Eyes Wide Shut by way of Y Tu Mama Tambien. 16-year-old Joan (Renato Quattordio) has fallen in love with his married teacher, Luciana (Romina Ricci). When he learns that she’s quit her job to move away, he convinces her to take him with her, where they go to her family’s country house for the Easter holiday. Once there, he quickly learns that Luciana and her family have actually lured him there because they have more planned for him than just an ill-advised tryst.
The film examines the relationship between love and money and what different people, in their various societal roles, will do to get both. Joan is searching for love, his adolescent naivety leading him to find it in someone who may not share his devotion. Luciana has motivations that are shrouded in secrecy, complicated to the extent that she may not entirely know her own desires. The appearance of her “brother” (Rafael Ferro) further muddies the water, and Joan finds himself in a fight for survival against those to whom he is a pawn in their game. The title, Amor Bandido, means Wicked Love in Spanish, but it also can be read as Bandit Love as well, both of which fit the narrative that unfolds in the film. Theft, deception, and chaos embroils the trio, leading to an epic conclusion that feels inevitable from the moment it begins.
Expertly crafted with some shocking scenes of violence, Amor Bandido is a fantastic film that is one of the better Argentinian films that I’ve come across. The acting is stellar, with both Ricci and Quattordio absolutely crushing their roles. There are some breathtaking shots, most notably near the end of the film, that were incredibly enthralling to watch come alive. The pacing is outstanding, and the film develops into an emotional thrill ride that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. Coming soon from Cinephobia Releasing, which was founded by the folks who also run Artsploitation Films, this is one that is not to be missed, and I will be picking up a copy as soon as it hits the shelves.
Who this movie is for: Foreign film lovers, Erotic thriller fans, People who don’t mind subtitles
Bottom line: Engaging and raw, Amor Bandido is a fantastic erotic thriller that’s more than meets the eye. The acting is emotional and fantastic and the cinematography is stellar: it’s as dark as it needs to be with some shocking scenes of violence. This is one that I anticipate will ravage the festival world, and I think you’ll be hearing more from everyone involved in the future. Truly excellent film, I highly recommend it. It’s rare to come across a film with which I have zero complaints, but Amor Bandido hits that mark