In America they will have gangsters and shootouts, but here we have rogues and beatings. Perhaps that is why Spanish thrillers always have a more street-like touch and less pretensions, something that sometimes surprises with its freshness but at other times, sadly, works against it. In ‘A tooth of the dog’ the good intentions are noticeable but, Sorogoyen or not Sorogoyen, compete against something difficult to remedy: a tiny budget.
Between the thriller and the drama
‘A tooth of the dog’ is a sandwich (or rather, a sandwich): the first and last sequences are pure action and tension where the camera on the shoulder helps to give credibility and the naturalistic texture gives a touch of squalor… But the bulk of the film takes place in a house where we see Manzano’s recovery after a stroke. There are two movies here and they’re not all that well connected. that they would like to be.
When the film moves away from the action and the underworld, it doesn’t hit the nail on the head. It is noted that it’s a toll you have to go through to tell the story that really interests you but cannot due to lack of budget. In this way, we attend between yawning and stupefaction to a breakdown of the protagonist’s private life that cuts us the most important parts to be able to follow the story without finding out from other conversations.
And it is that, within his parsimony, ‘A tooth of the dog’ runs completely run over. The weeks go by and the characters crowd uncontrollably until reaching an ending that leaves the story half-finished and feels unsatisfying. It’s a shame because, indeed, José Luis Estañ has good ideas, but does not have the knack to bring them to fruition.
There will be no peace for the low cost
Always there’s something refreshing about college shorts: imperfect, with a totally wrong timing, without a budget, but with a crazy desire from the whole team to carry out the project. ‘A dog’s tooth’ wants to be a spanish thriller and compete in the same league as ‘The minimal island’ or ‘There will be no peace for the wicked’, but it does so in the one for final year short films.
This is not a setback, but a compliment: given the variety of clone films that arrive on our billboards in which their production is a formality, it’s nice to see a deeply imperfect film but in which all those involved have made an effort to try to achieve the best possible result. The result It’s more of a test than a full-fledged movie.which has plenty of scenes and lacks background so that it is not so simple, but it has some small findings.
The biggest of them is the boot. Low cost, yes, but very powerful: the search throughout a town that culminates in a chase while Manzano’s private life constantly knocks on the door. In a few minutes he manages to create both structural and emotional stress which then clicks immediately, but shows what could have been achieved with a greater investment. I wish the film had been conceived as this continuous flight, which is much more interesting on all levels than the rest of the footage.
No stars in the sky
‘A dog’s tooth’ does not have a great director or huge stars (beyond the production of Rodrigo Sorogoyen), and that helps the plausibility of a story that lives on the margins of what the film tells. Perhaps too much: the characters come and go, and their feelings live more in the looks and hugs than in the text itself, a good idea on paper but one that more experienced actors could have carried out better.
I don’t want to call a mistake. This is not a bad movie, but it is a missed opportunity.a demonstration that one must know how to emotionally explore a character before deciding to do it in a film, and that not worth with two action scenes wrapping the rest of the plot to consider it a thriller.
‘A dog’s tooth’ the lower the mud is betterbut instead of making a good short film, he decides to focus on the main character’s family and love life, an addition that is not good for the film, it pauses the tension and shows the weakness of his proposal, which is born from love and illusion to make a film, but that it is destined to sail in the sea of less imaginative low cost. Lost opportunity.