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Everybody Knows  (DVD)


Stars: Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darin, Barbara Lennie, Eduard Fernandez, Carla Campra, Elvira Minguez, Roger Casamajor, Inma Cuesta

Director: Asghar Farhadi

After 20 minutes of this strenuously long Franco-Spanish film, it's clear that something desperately needs to happen. And it does, as, from the lengthy opening wedding reception, a teenage girl, Irine (Campra), is kidnapped and, ultimately, a ransom demanded.

She's arrived in Spain from Argentina with her mother, Laura (Cruz) and younger brother, to attend the marriage of the daughter of an old friend (I think). Her husband Alejandro (Darin) has stayed at home to, as it turns out (slight spoiler), look for work.

On hand is Laura's old flame Paco (Bardem) with his wife (Lennie) and other members of what seems to be an extended family: I must confess I had trouble placing the dramatis personae in context throughout, even though the film certainly takes its time.

It does become clear, however, as the girl appears to have been drugged, that one close family member is in cahoots with (presumably) two other kidnappers, as the ransom demanded is 300,000 euros.

It's always a pleasure watching actors of the calibre of the three leads, but this time round, their groaningly overstuffed venture never really catches fire.

David Quinlan

France/Spain 2018. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by Chroma Alba/print by deluxe.
129 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 02 Aug 2019