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International cinema can be a hit or miss with movie-goers. It can entice an audience into experiencing a new story from a different perspective. It can also be off-putting to an audience by hitting them with a language barrier or present them with unfamiliar material.
The Fury of a Patient Man instead creates an ambiance, unique enough to stand on its own but familiar enough that most film buffs can recognize and enjoy it.
Tarde Para la Ira or The Fury of a Patient Man is a thriller film about a woman and whose former lover is set to be released from prison. Their lives are turned upside down when a stranger begins a relationship with the woman and inquires deeper into the ex-convict's personal life.
Not only does the film take a different approach in its similar premise but it also takes its audience into a character study of the mind of the protagonist, Jose (played by Antonio de la Torre). Some of the film's tones and underlying messages borrow from classic thriller films like Taxi Driver and some more modern movies such as Drive. It borrows the same breakdown of these characters, instances of mundane things seemingly being mixed in with moments of intense violence.
There are very few instances where the film shows violence and shows any true intense emotion from our main protagonist. Other characters, such as Curro (played by Luis Callejo), the ex-convict trying to rekindle a failed relationship who is now with Jose, shows more emotion than Jose. Whether in the form of pleading and shock to moments of anger, the audience have more opportunities to connect with Curro than Jose. By not having Jose display many instances of strong emotion, the audience is taken deeper into the characterization of Jose. The best way to provide personality and depth to a character is to put them in a situation and see how they react or not react. No reaction tells the same as a normal reaction.
The screenplay is extremely underrated. Causal movie-goers fail to realize that the screenplay acts as the backbone from which a film or television series is fleshed out. Each individual character is fleshed out with their own motivations. It serves as both the premise and epilogue of the film where the true intention can lose its way when production starts.
This is where the ending seems to fall apart in a sense. The audience undergoes this visual journey with Curro and Jose. Both characters undergo changes throughout the film, yet there is no final thought. The filmmakers must have disagreed as there seems to be no impactful meaning, no statement to be made.
Above mentioned, there are times where the film takes moments to have the story settle and the pace slows down. For example, the characters are having dinner, having a conversation about life. Other instances we see Jose trying to connect with someone over social media. All these scenes feel like they drag on, even though they give a slight nudge to push the narrative forward. Other times, the action pushes the film too fast, contradicting earlier scenes.
Whether it was the intent or not, the ending and the pacing of the scenes can dissatisfy viewers on an otherwise solid film.
The Fury of a Patient Man is an interesting film that showcases a similar premise yet somehow makes it its own. The actors put on a wonderful performance yet it is not very difficult with a solid script in their hands. The film is inconsistent with its pacing and at the end, it seems to lack a punch to truly leave an impact.
The Fury of a Patient Man is not for everyone, but for those looking to deviate from their viewing habits, then this film would be great for a late night viewing.
Overall rating: 8.1/10
(The Fury of a Patient Man is available for viewing/streaming on Netflix.)