Nadie Conoce a Nadie (1999)

“I often have the feeling that I’m passing through my life.”

The slick stylish Spanish thriller Nobody Knows Anybody (Nadie Conoce a Nadie) is set in Seville during Holy Week in the year 2000. Newspaper crossword puzzle developer and would-be writer Simon Cardenas (Eduardo Noriega) is struggling as usual with his novel when he receives a cryptic telephone message ordering him to use the word “adversary” as an answer to an upcoming crossword clue. Since the message also contained threats, Simon does what he’s told, and he soon finds himself embroiled in a nightmarish sequence of events.

Directed by Mateo Gil, Nobody Knows Anything opens with a scene of a man stabbed to death with a crucifix through his heart, and this scene is one of the ideas that feeds the notion you are about to see some sort of horror film with religious overtones, but the plot moves away from the horror aspect into straight thriller territory. The film–which owes much of its style to American thrillers–is slickly produced, and the exotic settings of the sights and sounds of Seville help, but the preposterous plot with its huge gaps in logic and implausibility ultimately left this viewer disappointed and feeling a bit cheated by the experience.

I was intrigued at first by the film and drawn into the plot. However, once the plot and the mystery aspect became clear (and I can’t give away too much here), the film became silly and trite. There’s little character development–our hero is a flat, dull passive character, and the film’s emphasis is on the thrill aspect. A slick product that is ultimately empty and really ridiculous, this film is in Spanish with English subtitles.

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