The Verse’s Louise Conway outlines the Argentinian biographical crime film in her review of The Clan.
A film based on such a horrifying truth delivered with honest brutality, yet surprisingly enjoyable to watch.
The Clan, directed by Pablo Trapero depicts the true story of the Puccio family. Set in the 80s as the family had risen up the social ladder, utilising their higher local status to effectively get away with murder and extortion.
The film depicts that, for the Puccios, organised crime is as easy as running a family business. When the families’ deli transforms into an up-market, water sports equipment shop, it is clear that the other concealed family business is also thriving. Yet when hostages are brought into the family home until a ransom is paid, there is no denying the whole family is involved: which is what this film so cleverly encompasses. The film triumphs in its exploration of the whole family: the clan. Guillermo Francella perfectly plays Arquimedes Puccio, delivering a clearly composed father combined with a bitter, sinister criminal. Yet the whole family is brilliantly represented. A contrast is created by eldest son Alejandro (Peter Lanzani) who plans to lead a very separate life: being a star rugby player with masses of friends and a loving fiancé, yet his father’s determination to execute his sordid plans, riddled with the idea of family tradition traps Alejandro in his father’s self-willed, corrupt world.
Portraying a story as outrageous as the Puccio’s with accuracy and respect is largely successful due to its authenticity in production. The generally Argentinian cast and crew and native language used to tell the story savers this as an exceptional piece of foreign cinema. So it is no surprise that The Clan has become the highest-grossing Argentine movie of all time at the domestic box office. Too often have ‘based on a true story’ films been dramatized beyond credibility. Whereas The Clan remains true to its roots, in narrative, production and characterisation.
Trapero still manages to give a fresh flair to the film. Demonstrating that all you need is an upbeat soundtrack and a good montage to make a hostage situation enjoyable to watch.
For a genuine and enjoyable but equally hard hitting account of an incredibly interesting family. The Clan is a film that stands out in its achievements.