Daily archives "June 19, 2016"

Pikadero ***

U.K. & Spain/ Director Ben Sharrock/97mins

Synopsis: Two lovers Gorka (Joseba Usabiaga) and Ane (Barbera Geonaga) seek to find a private place only to be blocked or interrupted at every attempt. 

The title refers to a Spanish term for riding schools or places to have sexual relations at in this easy going quirky comedy from newcomer Ben Sharrock.

Gorka  (Usabiaga) and Ane (Goenaga) have just recently met. Both are polar opposites of each other. He works as an unpaid apprentice at the local tool factory, in the hopes it may become a full-time job just like his father used to do, but is too shy and reserved to have any other dreams. She is an outgoing student, studying art and yearning to advance her English language skills with an aim of working in Edinburgh to better herself. They do however have same aspirations for love and romance.
The piece is set during a European economic crisis and is shot beautifully in the Basque country 

Perfectly framed and filmed over numerous locations including a recurring Train Station where the lovers meet and say goodbye to each other. The situations the two find themselves in are subtle , but funny. The scenes that work incredibly well are the ones involving Gorka’s family who could become a whole other film set up by themselves. Notably the uncomfortable squashed living room where the family watches television while the mother continually  sorts their washing. All the cast give unique and quirky performances.

While entertaining the film is slightly let down funnily enough by the lead characters, but not by the actors. Even although the term opposites attract is used and is mainly right, here it the couple are too different that many questions arise.

Why does she regularly meet with him, when he rarely communicates with her. When they do talk neither appears to be interested in each others interests. Why do other men in the area not try to talk to Ane. The character herself also appears underwritten, nothing is really known about who she is, where she has come from or anything about her background.

Even with these problems, this debut is pretty impressive and has enough to keep even the most cynical person with the hardest of hearts entertained.

Reviewed by Paul Logan