Film review: Nadie nos mira

By Felipe Rocha July 5, 2018
Nadie nos mira

The struggles of a thirty-something actor who runs away to New York.

Set in New York, Nadie Nos Mira follows Nico as he runs away to a new country and tries to follow his acting dreams.

2.5 stars

Nadie Nos Mira (2017) takes a close look at a young man at a definitive time in his life. Nico is a thirty-something actor from Argentina living in New York City, not by choice, but because he’s running away from a toxic and complicated relationship back home.

Like many immigrants in New York, Nico has to work multiple, poorly-paid jobs to be able to afford rent and food. He’s constantly battling for money as he takes employment as a waiter and a babysitter, while he scrambles to find auditions that fit his persona.

The way that writer-director Julia Solomonoff presents the character and his dualities by chasing him around the city, almost like a private detective following a case, is intriguing. The first half of the movie does an exceptional job of setting the ground for some great drama.

Even though the ‘unlucky-immigrant-in-NYC’ story is a bit burnt out by now, the places and people Nico meets in this film give it a unique take on a journey we have seen before.

The definite satisfaction of the film is Guillermo Pfening’s performance as Nico. His interpretation of the role is subtle, but powerful enough for us to connect with his inner conflicts and root for him constantly. We cringe every time he makes an awkward situation even worse, and we smile every time he makes a bad joke.

His character is the role of a rich kid who, as a consequence of heartbreak, leaves the comfort of his hometown – where he has fame, a well-paid job and many luxuries – to pursue the American Dream of becoming a star.

Another actor would have portrayed Nico merely as snobby and obnoxious (which he, in fact, ultimately is), but Pfening’s portrayal brings out the sensitivity and honesty of a situation that’s hard on anybody, no matter their social background. It’s always hard to leave home.

Somehow, Pfening’s performance is not enough to save the movie from its ultimate enemy. The second half of the movie does not live up to the emotions cultivated at the beginning, and Nico’s choices towards the end feel out of character and a bit false.

We are asked to believe that for some reason, Nico’s desires towards the person he loves change and that he becomes a new man. However, nothing that we see him experience in NYC supports this.

This sudden development overshadows the main conflict of Nico trying to find a way to fulfil his dreams of an acting career, leaving the audience puzzled. Originally his heartbreak was the reason he left, but not the reason he stayed.

The very title of the film alludes to a secret desire between two lovers. But the film itself tells a completely different story, and one that can’t quite live up to the standards it sets for itself early on.

Premiere date: July 5