A flamboyant impresario and an ageing ex-wrestling champion arrive in a small town, offering a hefty award to the local challenger. In fact, the promoter wants to rinse the spectators for every penny. But, is this a good day to go fishing?
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Jacob van Oppen, the former strongest man on earth, and his manager Orsini, who calls himself "the Prince", make a good living by traveling around small South American towns and organizing wrestling exhibitions. Arriving in Santa Maria, they are met with uncommon enthusiasm, the local newspaper wants to sponsor the fight, helping hands placard the town with posters, and an open call is made for a worthy adversary. Ever so resourceful, Orsini knows how to find the right combatant, but fishing in Santa Maria could lead to a bigger catch than he'd hoped for.Written by
Warsaw Film Festival
First off, I take issue with the description of the film, where it states- "Jacob van Oppen, the former strongest man on earth, and his manager Orsini, who calls himself "the Prince", make a good living by traveling around small South American towns and organizing wrestling exhibitions." Wrong. They do not make a good living. They are living a precarious existence. Jacob, a shadow of his former self and Orsini, a con-man who does not even have the 'mil dolares' to back up and finance his bets. They are leading a terrible life, are both alcoholics, and both know it. Orsini is a self-described Italian Prince, but no one dare ask what he is doing, taking seedy bus trips, promoting a washed-up wrestler, all over South and Central America.
In any case, it's an excellent film. Jacob has become brain damaged from his years of wrestling and self abuse, he has reverted back to the mental state of a child. Not only that, he is bi-polar or has other mental issues which he takes medication for. As if that were not sad enough, Jacob also has some serious health issues. Although it has many comedic moments, it is nonetheless a sad film. It takes place in a fictional, back-water, town in Uruguay, in 1962. The acting and cinematography are all top notch. Jacob is somewhat devastated when he finds out the Orsini has been "fixing matches for him" and hand-picking opponents that insure Jacob wins the matches every time. The ending is brilliant and everything leads up to the final match at the end, where due to events in the town of Santa maria, Jacob must face a very tough opponent.
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