Cinema in cinema is never easy to do. The risk of obvious clichés is just around the corner. Yet the two Argentine directors Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat manage to build an entertaining and original film. Surprise ending – Official competition arrives tonight on tv for the first time. After being greeted with much applause at the Venice Film Festival of last year. The protagonists of the film, broadcast at 21.15 on Sky Cinema Due (and, as always, on Now and on demand), are a couple experienced in Spanish cinema. But don’t think about the usual roles of Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas: the two, this time, will amaze you.
The plot of Surprise ending
Lola Cuevas (Penelope Cruz), is an eccentric and successful director who has been commissioned to direct a film by a megalomaniacal billionaire entrepreneur, determined to make his mark on history. The ambitious undertaking calls for the greatest talents, so Lola enlists two acting stars: Hollywood womanizer star, Félix Rivero (Antonio Banderas) and the head of committed cinema and theater, Iván Torres (Oscar Martinez). Two polar opposite actors but both legends. With an unmatched charisma and ego. Forced by Lola to face hilarious and original tests to establish a connection between two. And that will put them to the test. Will they be able to overcome their rivalry to create a masterpiece?
A film to enjoy and entertain
«We wanted to show the construction of emotions through the work of the actors. This was the starting point of the screenplay», said Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn last year in Venice 78. “The goal of the film was to amuse and entertain us.”
A step aside from their usual jobs. Starting from experimental cinema and passing through documentaries, the two directors are known at home for their television programmes. And around the world for their dramatic comedies. Like The illustrious citizen (2016), successfully presented at the Venice Film Festival that year. So much that to win the Coppa Volpi for the best male performance to the protagonist Oscar Martínez.
The laughter of Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas on the set of Surprise Finale
Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas are a couple well experienced in cinema. Together they starred in Passenger lovers (2013) e Pain and glory (2019), both directed by Pedro Almodovar. Finding yourself on this set was, above all, a joy for the two Spanish stars. «Playing director Lola Cuevas was very liberating… the three of us had a huge freedom given by the directors. We laughed a lot. For me, this film is a tribute to our profession,” explains Cruz.
“We are in a period in which laughter is something subversive, clandestine,” is Banderas’ point of view. «Laughter is supported by irony and with irony you have to be careful. We were able to intelligently analyze success, envy, competition, insecurities, all clear elements within the film».
If Penelope Cruz isn’t Lola and Antonio Banderas isn’t Felix
It is easy, in metacinema, to make person and character coincide. Perhaps that’s why the two actors are keen to emphasize that they look nothing like their cinematic alter egos. “Lola Cuervas is a bit psychopathic and wild,” she laughs the Oscar-winning actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). «She is certainly intelligent, but she is also silly, not interested in what other people think. I sure wouldn’t like to be like her. She is an absolutely unbearable woman.’
Puss in Boots’ voice also distances itself from the sexist Latin lover he portrays. “If my character was very similar to me, I would not have played him. Felix is smart and chauvinist, his goals are not noble. And then, sorry, if I were the one in the movie now I’d say: why am I here in the corner? Why am I not in the centre?’
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