The Summit review: Santiago Mitre’s third feature film tackles politics, power, and psychology in this dramatic thriller that leaves many questions unanswered.
The Summit review by Tina Baraga.
Hernán Blanco (Ricardo Darin) is Argentina’s “president of the people”, a man with little experience whose sudden ascent from small-town mayor to the country’s leader has left many surprised. When we meet Blanco, he is on his way to a summit of Latin American presidents in the Chilean Andes. Briefed and commandeered by his team, he seems to be a passive man, perfectly matching a journalist’s cheeky description as “the invisible president”.
His political negotiations at the summit are clouded by the arrival of his unstable daughter Marina (Dolores Fonzi) and the blackmailing threats of her ex-husband. Suddenly the film takes a turn from political drama to psychological thriller. Enlisting the help of his advisor Luisa (Erica Rivas), Blanco juggles dirty political maneuvers with the mental deterioration of his daughter, leaving the viewers to wonder, that there must certainly be more to Blanco then first meets the eye.
While the film’s scenes may sometimes feel disjointed and characters come across as underdeveloped, this is just Mitre’s smart way of showing us snippets of Blanco’s life without revealing the whole story. Why does Marina suddenly remember secrets from Blanco’s past that she did not witness? Are any of these memories true? And just what has Blanco done in his path to power? None of these questions are fully answered, but one thing is for sure, Blanco is not the everyman president that he portrays himself to be.
With a great supporting cast, including Christian Slater as an American envoy, Elena Anaya portraying an investigative journalist and Paulina Garcia as the Chilean president, The Summit is an intriguing piece of cinema. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but is it certainly worth a view.
The Summit (La Cordillera) review by Tina Baraga, October 2017.