TL;DR – An odd little film that I don’t think every quite found its footing but left me feeling intrigued
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Back in my ¡Ay, Mi Madre! review I mentioned that I wanted to explore more of Spanish cinema, what I didn’t realise was just how quickly the next film would roll around. But less than a week later a thriller set in Barcelona arrived on my desk, and I knew I had to check it out. Well, Boi is many things and thankfully interesting is one of them.
So to set the scene, Boi (Bernat Quintana) is starting his first day as a private chauffeur in Barcelona, but he has a lot on his mind. Including caring for his Aunt (Fina Rius) and a breakdown in his relationship with his partner Anna (Miranda Gas). All of this leads him to completely getting the time wrong of when his first clients were arriving in the country so he has to rush and bluff his way into picking up Gordon (Adrian Pang) and Michael (Andrew Lua) two Chinese businessmen from Singapore. But that is only the start of three very long days.
he is the focal point of the whole movie, and the titular Boi, I think Bernat
Quintana does a really good job of espousing that nervous energy of someone on
their first day. I think we have all had to fake it before we make it or bluff
our way out of a conversation. So there is something instantly familiar with
his performance in that fish out of water kind of sense. The rest of the cast
is fine with other standouts being the odd paring of Adrian Pang and Andrew Lua
who are running with two completely different energies but it all works.
Structurally the film is fine, though it has been a long time since I have seen a film like clearly lay out its three-act structure in title cards ala Independence Day. With each day getting more and more intense as Boi gets dragged into this world. I liked that the film spent some time exploring the class relationships that exist in this servant world with chauffeurs and bellhops and more.
thing that does hold it back a bit, is that it can’t quite work out what kind
of story it wants to tell. There are two halves almost conflicting with itself
as the film goes on. On the one hand, there is the job helping out Michael and
Gordon and on the other, there is the Boi’s personal life collapsing around him
after he dealt poorly with the new that his partner was pregnant. These were
two interesting explorations of the character of Boi, but it kept feeling like
both sides of the story were holding the other back. As well as this, there
were these odd throughlines throughout the film like a dwarf that Boi runs into
several times throughout the film that purposely has no resolution and I am not
sure yet if that was frustrating or fascinating.
In the end, do we recommend Boi? Honestly. Yes, I think I would. It was an interesting little film that was well acted and had some out there moments. While I don’t think everything they tried to do worked, the character of Boi really pulls you through, even when he makes some really poor mistakes.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Boi
Directed by – Jorge M. Fontana
Written by – Jorge M. Fontana
Music by – Pablo Díaz-Reixa
Cinematography by – Nilo Zimmerman
Edited by – Jorge M. Fontana & Bernat Granados
Production/Distribution Companies – Aquí y Allí Films, Versus Entertainment & Netflix
Starring – Bernat Quintana, Miranda Gas, Anatoly Chugunov, Macarena Gómez,Rachel Lascar, Andrew Lua, Pol López, Man Mourentan, Adrian Pang, Jean Claude Ricquebourg, Fina Rius, José Sacristán & David Sust
Rating – Australia: M;