El Reino (The Realm) – Film Review

This Spanish film follows Manuel López-Vidal (Antonio De La Torre) a corrupt politician with a lavish lifestyle as his dirty businesses are exposed little by little. At first his colleagues in the political party start rejecting him slowly even though they are almost all involved in the embezzlement deals. Scene after scene the media starts running his name through the mud, and then even strangers on the streets until he is left virtually alone and quite desperate to expose the entire party.

I’ve gotta say, this was quite an exciting and unique film with many twists and turns. The main character Manuel or ‘Manu(Antonio de la Torre) starts out very obnoxious, entitled and unlikeable… not that you will grow to like him or anything as he was so obviously more focused on dragging his entire party down with him than to stop and think about his wife and daughter.

El Reino (The Realm) itself started a bit confusing and messy with a scene of Manuel and his comrades living the high life excessively but quickly it’s explained how he came to acquire the money and who his accomplices are. The plot was very straight forward showing the step by step of the investigation process conducted by the authorities along the whistle blower within the party. It’s worth mentioning how I was on the edge of my seat at some points where you don’t really know who to trust and what could happen next as Manuel keeps digging his own grave.

The acting was quite good and as mentioned before, the film has a unique style where you see the main character at all times in every single scene. I haven’t seen this used in many films before and this worked perfectly with the storyline, how you don’t know really who is in Manuel’s corner.

I would recommend this film, though with a grain of salt as I know many people take corruption very personally. In any case it is still a very interesting take and worth watching.

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