Cinema has always romanticized the sexy young serial killer, driven to savage extremes by raging hormones in righteous revolt against adult authority. In [El Ángel], Argentinean director Luis Ortega makes the latent erotic subtext explicit by training an adoring lens on his sexually ambiguous antihero’s androgynous beauty, luscious strawberry lips and cascading blond ringlets. Imagine if the puppyish Tadzio from Visconti’s Death In Venice grew up to be a trigger-happy psychopath.
Co-produced by Pedro and Augustin Almodovar, [El Ángel] dramatizes the true story of Argentina’s most infamous and longest-serving convicted killer, Carlos Robledo Puch.
[El Ángel] is […] a stylish period piece boasting solid performances, colorful visuals and a terrific vintage soundtrack. […] [It] hits the target as an effortlessly palatable aesthetic experience, more shiny period pageant than probing character study. The retro fashions, cars and hairstyles are reliably vivid cosmetic details in classic Almodovar style. Likewise the busy soundtrack of vintage pop hits and torrid torch songs, which is deeply woven into the drama, reaching a kind of sublime peak in a set-piece sequence choreographed to a Spanish-language version of the folk-rock standard “The House of the Rising Sun”. Julian Apezteguia’s sunny camerawork adds to the overall sense-pleasing package.
Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter