Question of Luck (1996)

“We get what we deserve.”

In the Spanish neo-noir film Question of Luck Julio (Eduardo Noriega) is at a turning point in his life. His fish farm business has collapsed, and his attractive fiancee, Concha (Leire Berrocal) is pushing Julio to get married. But Julio seems strangely unenthusiastic about marrying into Concha’s affluent family lottery business, and he toys with the idea of going to Madrid. One night, he spots an accident that’s occurred on a steep coastal road. Julio discovers the driver dead and surrounded by a fortune in jewels. Julio takes the jewels and shoves the car off the cliff–hoping to cover his theft.

This first step is the beginning of Julio’s journey into a world of deceit, crime, blackmail and murder. Taking the jewels, he rents a room at the home of a French woman named Marie (Anna Galiena). Marie has a mysterious criminal past, and she remains a social outcast in the Spanish resort town. Concha and her sister Pili (Marta Belaustegui) disapprove strongly of Julio renting a room from Marie, but the more they try to dictate to Julio, the more he rebels, and he’s soon embroiled in a hot, steamy affair with Marie.

One of the interesting elements of the film is the character of Pili. She has a large facial birthmark, and this has affected her life–she’s the ‘ugly’ sister–the one who can’t get boyfriends, and yet she’s madly, passionately in love with Julio. Pili knows that she can’t have Julio, but she’s determined that no one other than Concha will have him. She’s placed Julio on a pedestal of unrequited love, and she enjoys a subliminal relationship with Julio through their mutual connection with Concha. When Ricardo, an ex-con from Marie’s past enters the situation, things take an ugly turn. From director, Rafael Moleon, this stylish, intense neo-noir is in Spanish with English subtitles.

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Filed under Film Noir, Spain

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