Mini-Review: Two Shots Fired

In Two Shots Fired what you have is a film that will draw you in with a rather stunning inciting incident. It’s one that will instantly act as a litmus test. As a result of reading it you will either be repulsed or compelled to watch it.

Per the IMDb’s page on the film the synopsis is as follows:

17-year-old Mariano finds a gun in his house and, in a thoughtless impulse, shoots himself twice. But he survives.

Now you can clearly see that this is the kind of story that will instantly either steer people clear or arouse curiosity. For the curious I must instantly inform you that the melodrama or the deep, detailed exploration of a psyche that one may expect are not found here.

For better or worse, one of the most effective aspects of this film is its employment of “MacGuffinism.” What I mean by this is in the classic tradition, as termed by Hitchcock, “the two shots fired” are the pretense for telling the tale, but not the thrust of the tale itself. It’s the flashpoint around which the personal tension both intra-familial and among friends can be explored. What would have been further subsumed tensions and resentments are brought to the fore by the incident that almost immediately kicks off the proceedings here.

The aversion to bombast here is such that even the conflict is atypically conveyed. The film skirts about it as the characters do. They are scarcely discussed, at times they are enacted. When they are most present is in the film’s visuals as opposed to the films dialogue.

There is a palpable intangibility of the strain beneath the surface. It also does portray a dichotomy between the reactions the characters display. Whereas Mariano’s malaise is not broken, the same which caused him to act thoughtlessly, his parents struggle with how much added attention should be foisted upon him in light of recent incidents. How much supervision can atone for what happened and try to prevent its happening anew.

There have been many strong films coming out of Argentina lately, but sadly this isn’t really one of them. While the main objective of the film is understood and appreciated the film sometimes comes off as being as aimless as Mariano is throughout.



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