It’s hard to compete with Hollywood. The multi-million dollars spent on CG and special effects and sets and stars. It’s also little wonder why quite often, the story gets lost in Hollywood productions. That’s the main reason I like foreign films so much. Without the capital Hollywood studios have to back them, foreign films must rely instead on good storytelling and good acting.
I’ve been wanting to see “Rabia” (“Rage” the English title) for some time now, and finally got to enjoy it today. Like all films, there are parts that defy reason or logic – such as how someone as beautiful and good as Rosa (played by Martina García) would be with someone as commonplace and well, tired and aged seem to fit best, as Jose Maria (played by Gustavo Sánchez) – but the premise of the story line is altogether haunting and captivating. Watching “Rabia” reminded me of reading some of the works by Japanese murder/mystery writer Edogawa Rampo. There’s an edge of sinister plausibility to the madness with which Jose Maria is consumed.
Ostensibly, Jose Maria needs anger management classes, and if the film fails, it fails in showing us what has bent his character thus toward jealous destruction. Perhaps that thought comes mostly from the Anglicized title “Rage.” In its native script, “Rabia” means rage, of course, but it also means rabies. If viewed through the filter that Jose Maria is already a sick man at the start, we can truly see how his infected mind devolves to its most basic elements. This view also lends credence to the shocking transformation of an able-bodied construction worker, to a fiendishly withered predator.
In all, the story and the acting carry this film well. Martina García’s range of emotion adds to the tension in the story line. Absent big-budget Hollywood glam, “Rabia” is definitely worth its salt for anyone looking for a film with a credible story.