Dir: Eugenio Mira
Running Time: 90 minutes
Looking at the poster for this film and you’d likely be thinking that you’re going to see another Spanish horror film that Guillermo Del Toro has likely had some hand in – Antonio Trashorras, writer of Del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone is on scripting duties here too. Where you to go see Agnosia, you’ll get something very very different, and this is in no way a good thing.
In a hodge podge of thriller, romance, slight supernatural and an elaborate heist that would give Inception a run for it’s money, Agnosia tells the story of Joana Prats (Bárbara Goenaga), a woman who suffers from an affliction which affects how she perceives both auditory and visual elements. Years previous, her father Artur (Sergi Mateu) created an advanced telescopic rifle that was much coveted by military figures. Realising the harm it could create, he destroyed the plans leaving the secrets of it’s creation with his daughter. After his death, a sinister plan is concocted to kidnap Joan and extract the information from her by manipulating her condition.
The problem with Agnosia is that it really doesn’t know what film it wants to be. After watching it, you get the impression that it was aiming for a sprawling and epic love story but it far from nails that. In fact, it falls flat on its face. During her sensory imprisonment, Joana is tricked into believing that another man, Carles (Eduardo Noriega) – who coincidentally is in love with her – is her husband to be. What follows is a supposed love scene that is more akin to an uncomfortable rape. Ouch.
It is a film also of missed opportunities, mostly emanating from the lack of advantage taken of the Joana’s condition which at times threatens to deliver some extremely tense and horror tinged moments but quickly peters out without a whimper.
Some credit must be given to director Eugenio Mira though, while it is extremely poor on story – a great surprise considering the caliber of writer Trashorras’ previous work – it is at times a visually pleasing film. Particularly, the opening scene set against the backdrop of a beautiful lake is a wonderfully shot piece, the rest of the film unfortunately never reaches these heights again.
Subsequently, Agnosia seem to drag on for a very long time even with it’s short 90 running time, leaving you expecting and waiting for the credits to roll long before attempts are made at tying up the stories multiple loose ends. A major disappointment.