When you set your mind to something, don’t let anything stand in your way! Murder, theft, these things are just obstacles in your path and can be dealt with any means necessary. The psyche of a dictator is on full display in TONY MANERO. Raul just wants to be known as the best look alike in the nation and when given the chance, fails, but not because he wasn’t the best. Raul is consumed by Tony Manero, John Travolta’s character from SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, at least the scenes where he is dancing away. He may have missed the themes of the film. This isn’t the entire character but it does not matter to Raul. He’s not so much a petty thief as a vicious killer. It puts almost every viewer on edge and many are disgusted. I think the movie is fantastic and would recommend, 10/10 – BEE GEES\10! But on to some more review….
The film is slightly detached from the violent elements as they are presented as a day-to-day look at Raul’s life. He is trying to survive along with the rest of the population in what amounts to a war zone. There are no rules in war, except for the side with the most stuff and least casualties wins. The film is funny, maybe it shouldn’t be, at least Raul is. The laughter comes from a place of defense, a misplaced reaction to the events seen on screen. The only reactions available are disgust or laughter and knowing it is a work of fiction brings the laughter to the forefront. The film builds to the crescendo at the end and in a tiny glimmer, the viewer almost wants Raul to win the contest. Maybe he’ll stop acting like this if he can fulfill this one thing he wants so much. The thing he has scared everyone else’s life and happiness for but his own.
Sounds a lot like a violent dictator that has ravished an entire country’s worth of people. In the end its great that Raul does not win the contest because doing so might justify the actions he took to get there. TONY MANERO is the kind of film that makes a viewer want to dive into the Chilean history books to find out what was going on at the time, even if to justify why the film was ever created or watched. This is a good thing. Films that make an audience think a lot during them, especially a small film like this one, are a good thing.
Raul should have stayed to the end of the film he so desperately clings to and he would have seen that Manero sees the error of his ways and vows to change. Manero manages to salvage his life at the end, something in which Raul seems completely incapable of. TONY MANERO is a movie that is hard to bring into the classic genres of contemporary cinema. Many scenes leave their mark, but the cold ness, the emptying moral sense felt by the protagonist who goes from dance to murder without any reservations or regret, is the most unsettling feature of the entire plot.