Review: Externo

Title: Externo
MPAA Rating: N/A
Directors: Jonathan and Leandro Taub
Starring: Leandro Taub, Elisabeth Ehrlich, Christian Bargados
Runtime: 1 hour 23 minutes

What it is: Joseph (Leandro Taub), a businessman, tries to conquer the world with $2,000. To grow his fortune, he’ll deal with insider trading, chemical warfare, and dirty politics. We follow his journey through a series of narrators, phone calls, and intimate conversations. He’s in the shadows as his empire grows, grossing more money and power as his plans grow increasingly devilish.

What we think: The movie opens by telling you not to take it too personally as it’s a work of fiction. As odd as that sounds, this movie totally benefits from this. As a narrative, this totally works. As a social commentary, it’s a bit flat, but we’ll set that aside as we’re told to. It’s a movie that chooses to tell more than show, and could really work as an audio-only experience. But that’s not to say there’s nothing to look at. We mostly follow Joseph’s journey from completely on the outside but through the phone calls and narration we see him change slowly as he accumulates power. There are some legitimately beautiful shots in there and the acting is generally terrific. The narrative style is interesting but forces you to hang on to each word and could benefit from a bit more action visually.

Our grade: B, An overall gripping narrative that relies a bit too heavily on its narrators who are good but fail to engross you into the plot during portions of the film. Taub is great as the lead (and really one of 3-4 voices in the whole film) and those who prefer artsy visuals will surely be able to sink their teeth into this one.