Directed by #AlejandroMontiel
Written by #AlejandroMontiel
“Maybe after so many years of catching them, he became one?”. Such is the mystery in Alejandro Montiel’s double-edged thriller, Intuition. A follow-up to Perdida (2018), writer-director Montiel recalls Clint Eastwood’s Tightrope (1984) with his dark tale of a policeman who may also be responsible for murder.
Rookie cop Manuela ‘Pipa’ Pelari (Luisana Lopilato) teams with unorthodox detective Francisco Juánez (Joaquin Furriel) to investigate the brutal murder of a 19-year-old girl. As the investigation begins, news breaks out of another murder; the death of the teenager who killed Juánez's wife. With Juánez the prime suspect, Pipa finds herself at the centre of two mysterious crimes when she is assigned to spy on her new partner.
Cool and convincing as the Scully-esque Pipa, Lopilato’s dynamic with Furriel makes for an intriguing guessing-game. Like Pipa, we’re equally suspicious at times of Juánez, other times more sympathetic towards his innocence. Throughout, we and the character are constantly jolted back and forth over the truth. “Since his wife was killed, he hasn’t been the same”, Pipa is told by her boss. Another colleague remarks that Juánez went insane following his wife's death. Nothing is clear and nothing is certain. As Juánez, Furriel looks almost possessed as the typically more experienced but troubled detective; he saunters through the film like a concoction of a noir anti-hero and Captain Black. It’s a clichéd role for sure but Furriel sells it with an understated air of danger and enigma.
Undoubtedly, the most striking characteristic of Montiel’s film is its atmosphere. Despite the clichés in characterisation, the director largely avoids overblown action and explosive set-pieces. Instead, we’re kept in a dark world of secrets and intrigue. The focus is the investigation. It’s an effective aesthetic; we’re kept feeling throughout that something isn’t right and Montiel does admirably in sustaining the tension from beginning to end. Elsewhere, some of the film’s narrative is more haphazard. Montiel opens with a pre-credits sequence, involving another murderous crime, the implications of which never resurface despite our expectations. This triple-crime opening is jarringly confusing, and one can only speculate that Montiel’s opening may be a plant for the next entry in the series. Most bizarrely, Montiel later has an incarcerated patient, also a suspect, escape from a mental hospital with laughable ease. It’s a notably sloppy moment in an otherwise carefully controlled plot which moves hastily, despite the lack of action.
Fans of high-octane action-thrillers probably won’t click with Intuition. Those partial to
more intelligent mysteries may find more appeal in the film's atmosphere, understated performances and quick pace. It's an intriguing mystery at least.