The Delinquents

A reclusive bank employee, Morán (Daniel Elías), is tempted to use his privilege to take advantage of his workplace.  His plot to rob the bank is on standby until the perfect moment – cue Román (Esteban Bigliardi), a teller who leaves work early and is used as an incidental accomplice once Morán steals $650,000.  Román, now more aware, is brought into the fold by the amateur thief and is told to hold the money while Morán confesses and serves (what he assumes will be) a three-and-a-half year sentence.  Once the jail time is complete, the men will be able to retire with the earnings.

The Delinquents starts promising enough with that great premise, and writer/director Rodrigo Moreno, quickly and efficiently, sets up the pieces that are required to build restless tension towards Morán’s haphazard crime and Román’s edginess as he tries and curbs his anxiety while hiding his complicity.  The latter arc makes terrific use of the film’s slow-burn pace, as the bank’s protocols tighten up and fellow employees are laid off to match the loss.

However, about halfway through this very long three-hour-long film, Moreno decides to make The Delinquents more of an introspective journey for its leads.  Instead of sinking into the desperation of this crime and its long-spanning psychological side effects, Moreno spins the robbery into an enlightening and exposing experience about the realities of a capitalist lifestyle.  Suddenly, I felt like I was back on the Triangle of Sadness yacht, being told that rich elitists are actually, get this, a little crooked.

The disappointment I have towards The Delinquents doesn’t so much stem from subjective, unfulfilled expectations;  it’s because the movie reveals itself to be a repetitive sham.  The back-half of the movie, especially when the reflective periods involve newfound romance, resembles a male fantasy with unoriginal epiphanies.  And because Morán and Román go through similar arcs, the viewer often feels déjà vu.  A final shot, which feels like a recycled jab from Barbie about insecure men idolizing strength, is less of an “aha!” moment and more of a guffaw moment.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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