debtOr, given all that it was tremendously shot and intensely acted in, this film by Argentinian director Diego Rahman – about a substitute teacher – is strangely unsatisfying in terms of the story it has to tell: A truncated car chase climax.
Lucio (Juan Minudin) is a divorced Buenos Aires poet and critic who has taken up a replacement teaching job in a demanding urban school, teaching literature to bright children (one of whom, inevitably, A supernaturally talented rapper). Nicknamed “The Chilean” and played by veteran Chilean actor Alfredo Castro, Lucio’s dad is a local community worker and cafe owner with ties to the mayor. Lucio’s father is also a bitter enemy of local drug lord El Perro, who reportedly has political ambitions of his own, and the Chilean is a well-liked member of Lucio’s class. You hire Dylan (Lucas Arua), the smartest kid to have, in the kitchen.
However, Dylan goes bonkers and gets involved in a drug deal from El Perro’s supply on the school grounds. Cops march into the classroom to make an arrest. El Perro was enraged by this violation of the unwritten rule that schools be off limits to the drug trade, and that his own ambitions were undermined, and that the mayor (and his Chilean friend) I am furious that you are willing to take advantage of this opportunity. embarrass him. So he and his gang now want to kidnap and even kill the hapless Dylan.
So the story of an inner-city inspirational teacher basically continues the old-fashioned way. The performances, especially Minujin’s, are flawless, but the setup between the gang and the Chileans and the (off-camera) mayor feels very poorly written and poorly explained. As a caring teacher, Lucio is too good to be basically true, and he’s even been awarded the finale of the traditional Mr. Chips Classroom. It’s not quite as funny as the creepy voyeuristic teacher in An Early Movie, The Invisible Eye. A very tired school day.