Destiny Has No Favorites (2003)

 “It’s impossible to know what a woman truly hides.”

destiny has no favouritesIn the Peruvian comedy film, Destiny Has No Favorites wealthy Ernesto (Javier Valdez) rents out the grounds of his splendid mansion to a television studio. He then announces to his wife Ana (Monica Steuer) that he’s going away on business leaving her to deal with the actors and actresses from the soap-opera that’s about to filmed outside. Ana, who’s peevish, spoilt and bored to tears, professes disgust at the “vulgarity” of the popular soap, Destiny, and her disdain becomes even greater when her two maids glue themselves to the windows watching the soap being filmed.

This soap is set in the Hotel Anything Goes and the plot concerns a wealthy wheelchair bound woman, Virtudes (Elena Romero) who’s married to a young unscrupulous hunk Alejandro (Bernie Paz). Glamorous star Maria (Angie Cepeda) competes for Alejandro’s attention. Like most soaps, the plot is full of cliches, bizarre plot twists, and general nastiness.

The director announces a new role–Alejandro’s ex-girlfriend, and Ana–who’s snooping around the set is mistaken for an actress and given the role. Flattered, and excited, Ana takes the part without revealing that she’s the wealthy woman who owns the mansion. She’s a natural for the role, and soon she’s manipulating her way around the set–upsetting everyone–except the director. Meanwhile another complication sets in when fate sends the director inside Ana’s home, and here he begins a tentative friendship with the mysterious and disguised lady-of-the-house. He’s soon consulting her about the soap, and she steers him away from the “conventional morality” of the plot. Ana’s life becomes increasingly more complicated as the lines blur between her ‘real’ life and her double life as the actress Ana Anguish.

The film directed by Alvaro Velarde almost works–some of the scenes between the actresses are quite funny–especially when the claws appear, and it’s very easy to accept that this rich, bored woman would thrive on the nastiness of a soap opera set. But there’s something missing. The film doesn’t go far enough with its comedy, and the characters should be unleashed. There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with the film, and it’s certainly a pleasant little diversion. But given the premise, the film could have been so much more. In Spanish with English subtitles.

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Filed under Comedy, Peruvian

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