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PENUMBRA (aka GLOOM, 2011)

Directed by Adrián García Bogliano & Ramiro García Bogliano
Written by Adrián García Bogliano & Ramiro García Bogliano
Starring Christina Brondo, Camilia Bordonaba, Sabastian Berta Muniz, Maria Nela Sinisterra

I’ve seen some slow burners in my time, but PENUMBRA takes the cake. Though the film starts out with an abduction of a beautiful young lady, PENUMBRA, which translates to GLOOM, then goes on for what feels like ages before anything of substance occurs. When Marga (played by a feisty Christina Brondo) shows an apartment to a potential new renter, she is caught up too much in her love life, her business, and her chaotic lifestyle to notice the dangers she is in. Though I’ve seen (and unfortunately dated) girls that seem to have their cell phones surgically implanted into their ears and texting fingers, this film illustrates how oblivious those types of people really are to the world around them. A cautionary tale of too much phone time? Yes, that’s kind of what this movie is, though the filmmakers make one crucial mistake—making the path that leads us up to this cautionary beat worth taking.

The more I think about PENUMBRA, the more I think it would have been a much better short film. There is a lot of great symbolism at play with an eclipse making the world act insane and how our heroine is oblivious to all of that due to her busy lifestyle, but the endless phone conversations this lead actress tangents onto really tried my patience.

But the ending of this Argentinean thriller is a whopper and plays out almost pitch perfectly. Had there been a little less chitter from our chattery female lead, PENUMBRA would have been a fantastic film. As is, it’s a film that made my fast forward finger twitch to get closer to an ending that really does leave an impact.

Check out the trailer here!!