Heroic Losers (‘La Odisea de los Giles’)

COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 56min (Spanish with subtitles)

STARRING: Ricardo Darín, Luis Brandoni, Chino Darín, Andrés Parra

Double act: the Daríns

Fermin Perlassi (Darin) and his wife, Lidia (Verónica Llinás), are worker-bee dreamers who you want to come out on top while guessing they may not — especially in a movie with Losers in its title. They’re steaming along with the plan for a granary co-op in their Argentinian backwater when film-maker Sebastián Borensztein’s ambling charmer opens. This, however, is December 2001, and as the country’s economy goes belly-up, the Perlassis’ evil bank manager, Alvarado (Luciano Cazaux), and his lawyer enabler, Manzi (Parra), are swiping the townspeople’s combined savings from Fermin’s account, leaving them all with 158,653 pesos down the drain. Fermin is a broken man. But one year later, when his amigo Fontana (Brandoni) drops by with the bracing scoop that Manzi has had an isolated vault constructed in which to store his stolen lucre, his heroic streak starts to kick in.


Heroism can be a health hazard, especially for a shambolic posse of boondocks vigilantes going up against a smarmy sociopath with a state-of-the-art alarm system. It's also undeniably cool in a Latin-casual, go-the-little-guys kind of way; upping the already serious charm stakes, Darín’s son, Chino, nonchalantly plays Fermin’s son and co-conspirator, Rodrigo. The scheme the crew comes up with to compromise the vault's alarm and retrieve what is rightfully theirs is so impossibly audacious and ingenious in its white-knuckled teamwork that “the Peronista men” have already won the day, well before the wicked treat of an adrenalised finale.