‘Ola De Crimenes’ (Crime Wave) throws you straight into the rollicking, over-the-top absurdity of Spanish comedy.
Directed by critically acclaimed director Gracia Querejeta, Crime Wave is a raucous mash of comedy and thriller, featuring countless gags, sticky situations and unbelievably bad luck. The film grows in hectic energy with each plot twist and leaves you with your jaw on the floor as you try to process the calamity of it all.
Leyre (Maribel Verdú) is a wealthy divorcee with an ex-husband (Luis Tosar) who has a distasteful disdain for their oddball son Asier (Asier Rikarte). When Asier kills his father in the opening scene in a fit of rage, Leyre’s life changes. She goes from aspiring cupcake entrepreneur to a protective mother who will stop at nothing to ensure Asier isn’t linked to the crime.
The fact that Leyre is completely out of her depth is made obvious when she loses the body of her dead husband. Panicked, she must put her trust and safety into the lives of others; namely her son’s best friend Julen (Miguel Bernardeau) who is madly in love with her, her doddering slightly-racist mother (Teresa Lozano) and an unwitting actor-cum-taxi-driver (Raúl Arévalo). Throw in a risqué love affair, a corrupt cop and couple of hard-hitting criminals and you have the ideal recipe for a perfect storm defined by Querejeta’s off-beat humour.
The film really shines with its focus on bad female characters. Leyre is no saint – the only sadness she shows over her ex-husband’s death is a few moments of over-the-top sobbing. She manipulates the lovesick Julen and then starts a sexual relationship with the teenager. Her ex-best friend and husband’s current wife Vanesa (Paula Echevarría) is just as shady – she is running a massive tax fraud scheme and will do anything to ensure she won’t go down due to her husband’s demise. Juana Acosta rounds out the trio of shifty, duplicitous women as Vanesa’s savvy lawyer and business partner.
Crime Wave is showing as part of the 2019 Moro Spanish Film Festival. From the 16th of April to the 26th of May, the festival will be showcasing the very best cinema from Spain and Latin America in many Australian cities. With a spotlight on female directors and a number of special events including Moro Olive Oil appreciation sessions and Flamenco nights, this year’s Spanish Film Festival is not to be missed.
If Crime Wave is any indication of the calibre of films featured in the festival, Spanish film fans are in for a real treat.
Reunites Maribel Verdú with Antonio Resines after Lucky Star (1997), Carreteras secundarias (1997) and El portero (2000).