The Realm – Film Review

In a corrupt system which survives and perpetuates itself over the years, being a politician is a real privilege for those who know how to play their cards. Director Rodrigo Sorogoyen helms a tightly paced and suspenseful tale in The Realm (‘El Reino’) that chronicles the untangling of a privileged few.

Manuel (played flawlessly by Antonio de la Torre) is an influential regional vice-secretary who has everything in his favour to become the next Regional President. The film opens depicting Manuel as a respected and loyal official amongst his party colleagues. Together, they enjoy life, luxury yachts and expensive restaurants. This picture of contentment shields their day-to-day activities that include money laundering, land rezoning and exchanging favours with businessmen in the area.

The serenity is set to unravel when a leaked tape exposes dealings between Manuel and yacht-party friend Paco to the public eye – essentially portraying them as the sole perpetrators. But it belies a pit of murkiness where no one is innocent. Further, he is summoned to party headquarters where further coercion requires his resignation and ‘taking one for the party’. The event reveals to him the true nature of his friends and colleagues, some more cold-blooded then he.

If Manuel is going down, he’ll be sure to take them all down with him. It radically shifts his role from facilitator to whistle-blower, and his determination will overflow into confrontation and ultimately, his survival.

Right up to the very last second between Manuel and journalist Amaia Marín (power casting of Bárbara Lennie), the anticipation and intrigue continues to build. The Realm is a class act. It is fast and sometimes the subtitles don’t appear to keep up with the action on screen, but stick with it.

4.5 stars

Screening at the following cinemas from 16 May 2019.

Palace Cinema Como
Palace Balwyn
Kino Cinemas
Cinema Nova
Classic Elsternwick

Palace Verona
Palace Central

Palace Byron Bay

Palace Electric

Palace James Street Cinemas
New Farm Cinemas

Luna Leederviille
Paradiso – TBC

Palace East End

State Cinema

About The Realm

Directed by: Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Written by: Isabel Pena, Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Stars: Antonio de la Torre, Monica Lopez, Jose Maria Pou, Nacho Fresneda

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