“Stealing the Stolen,” a review of “Museo” by Nathan H. Box
Recommendation: 4/5 Stars, SHOWTIME
Director: Alonso Ruizpalacios, Writers: Manuel Alcala, Alonso Ruizpalacious, Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Simon Russell Beale, Lynn Gilmartin
Plot: “In 1985, a group of criminals mocks the security of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City to extract 140 pre-Hispanic pieces from their showcases.” -IMDB
Review: For my fourth film of the Los Angeles Film Festival, I set my sights on a movie about stealing artifacts for the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. By doing so, I will never look at a museum the same way again. Think about it! Walk through a natural history museum anywhere in the world. As you do, you will see pottery, jewelry, cutlery, and items that once belonged to someone else. This film is about returning those items, but it is also about finding yourself isolated from your family.
This film does some things very well. Lots of scenes are shot very tightly. With some movies, this can be an annoyance. Here, it makes the action very personal, because to our thieves it is. Next, this film does a superb of job of knowing when to turn up the noise and when to allow silence reign supreme. Combined together, these two achievements make the heist scenes enthralling and captivating.
With the heist in the rearview mirror, this becomes a movie about stealing the stolen and trying to make amends. Before Hispanic people made Mexico their home, proud and mighty tribes such as the Mayans roamed the land. Our thieves are solely focused on returning artifacts back to their rightful owners. That is until they discover what they have stolen is so priceless that the items are also worthless. Fearing retribution, no natives want the items and no art dealer will come near them. This puts our thieves in a very tight position.
All in all, this is a movie worth your time and attention. It does drag near the end, but its final moments focus on a confession that is both emotional and gripping as our thieves learn the true value of what they have stolen.
Be good to each other,
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