The key to any great heist movie is not taking its perspective too seriously and yet give it enough personality and reality to make it believable. “Heist Of The Century” is a rare balance where it is both local and international. Like a more concentrated “Oceans” movie, it uses the inherent strengths of its characters to really make it pop. The two lead characters in Luis ,a career thief and Fernando, a weed-smoking mastermind who is more about the idea than the score make the perfect imbalance. The trick is seeing the method to their madness. The production values are exceptional but that kind of refinement, apparently with Warner Brothers International backing this production makes it immediately apparent. As a result the scenes pop. The texture of a Sinatra tune “Nice & Easy” is perfectly used and gives the films one of its best montages. The filmmaker Ariel Winograd keeps the pace moving but it helps that the man per se who pulled off the heist (Fernando Araujo) is in fact one of the screenwriters. This gives the film great detail but also that humor that only people who spend a lot of time together get. There is a lyricism but also a surrealistic element in the texture of the human nature it shows, with all its quirks. Luis, the defacto face of the gang, (played by the cool Guillermo Francella) jumps into the idea of the bank robber even taking acting classes. It is a nice progression while Diego Peretti plays Fernando himself with an aloof intensity that is both easy and fun without being annoying. What makes the movie work though is the little comic riffs between the style. little things that go wrong or misdirects which were in the screenplay. Whether it is the negotiator giving a sideways glance to the distract attorney or during the prep, the robbers arguing over a piece of technology to which one of the guys immediately finds a DIY solution and then says “we have to hurry up because my wife thinks I m fishing”. “Heist Of the Century” works in that regards because in feeling so effortless, it doesn’t give away how good it is. It blends screwball comedies with an edge of sophistication that some films (“The Kitchen” comes to mind) don’t have because they take themselves just slightly too seriously.
By Tim Wassberg