Thursday, July 1, 2010


Like many films from Film Movement, Gigante tells a simple story, eschewing Hollywood cliches, special effects, and sappiness.  The gigante in question in Gigante is Jara, a night security job at a supermarket in Montevideo.  Julia, one of the night cleaning ladies catches his eye.  As he sits at his video monitors, he becomes obsessed with her, watching her at her duties.  He even begins following her outside of work.
This sounds creepy, but Jara maintains his distance, and does not watch and follow in a leering, inappropriate way, but in a way that reflects his extreme shyness and discomfort with conversation.  When he sees Julia cleaning up an accidental mess on her aisle, and then notes that the supervisor is heading her way, he leaps to action, heading off the supervisor so that Julia has time to finish cleaning, avoiding the wrath of her boss.

Jara's shyness and simple crush on Julia, and Julia's corresponding coyness make the viewer hope they will get together.  They may not be the typical romantic comedy screen idols, and the story may not fit the typical mold, but Gigante's quiet, slow-paced storytelling will surely leave you smiling.

Bottom line, 2 1/2 stars.

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