Scherzo Diabolico delivers on giving the audience a crazy ride, but unfortunately it continues too long after an otherwise perfect ending.
From the very beginning of Scherzo Diabolico you’ll sense that it has somewhat of an alternative narrative. Don’t worry though, this is a good thing. If you’ve seen another of writer-director Bogliano’s movies – such as Here Comes the Devil – then this should come as no surprise.
This time around, the plot is being carried on the back of classical music. The protagonist in Scherzo Diabolico loves classical piano, but unfortunately doesn’t play it himself. At a young age, his piano teacher flat out told him that his stubby little fingers would never be able to reach all the keys properly. And that was the end of that dream.
As it turns out, this is actually symptomatic for our guy. Someone else is always standing between him and his dreams for a better life. Whether that someone is his wife, his boss, or even a complete stranger, doesn’t really make any difference.
As the movie begins, his only dream is to gain some sort of control. In order to do this, he decides to kidnap a girl. Being almost neurotic – and dealing with the exactness of numbers in his job as a accountant – he has planned out every detail of the kidnapping. And really, it goes off without the tiniest issues. It’s what happens after the kidnapping that will decide his fate.
From Shyamalan to Tarantino
Unfortunately, the plot continues on its crazy ride in a direction that didn’t work for me personally. We went from a Shyamalan-worthy twist to a Tarantino-fueled ending. For me, this just wrecked the feeling of having found an awesome movie, I needed to recommend to everyone. I was literally saying out loud “Wait, why does it keep going now?”. And while I was ready for more intelligent twists, what I got instead was a whole new style of film. One that didn’t do anything for me.
The cast worked really well, but when everything changes so much – style, plot and direction – it’s hard not to let that influence the acting as well. The fact that the movie is just shy of 100 minutes was a shock to me. It felt like it was at least two hours, because it continued for so long after a very satisfying conclusion.
Still, while Scherzo Diabolico didn’t deliver on having the truly awesome ending, it was an overall crazy ride and I look forward to the next project from Adrián García Bogliano. The fact that it’s a Swedish horror movie called Svart Cirkel [Black Circle] only has me even more intrigued.
Scherzo Diabolico premiered at Tribeca Film Festival last year , and it’s out on DVD and VOD now. As of October 3 (2016), it’s available on Netflix US. Also, it will be released in the UK on November 7, under the title Evil Games.
Director: Adrián García Bogliano
Writer: Adrián García Bogliano
Cast: Francisco Barreiro, Daniela Soto Vell, Jorge Molina, Milena Pezzi, Vita Vargas
A bored accountant can’t win for losing. He is passed over for promotion at work, has a nagging shrew of a wife, and is generally disrespected by all he comes in contact with. He devises a scheme to get what he feels he is owed. After executing his well thought out plan of kidnap and ransom, things soon go straight to hell.