BOTTOM LINE: A Slow Burner Stalker Thriller
|Platform: Netflix||Genre: Thriller|
What Is the Story About?
Javier Munoz (Javier Gutierrez) is once a successful ad executive. However, a lot of time has passed, and people have moved on. He is not able to land a new job and is placed with young interns. The lavish lifestyle of Javier slowly fades away, and he has moved to a small downtown home.
The whole process of the search for a job and downgrading of life has a psychological effect on Javier’s mind. What he does to regain his life back is what the movie is all about?
The character of Javier is unique and well written from start to end. Actor Javier Gutierrez does an adequate job in bringing out the inner maniac personality. It is not raging or seething with anger that is showcased outwardly. Instead, there is burning and frustrating inner rage, Javier makes one feel the rawness of that emotion through his act.
Many moments neatly take us into Javier’s sinister mind-set. It is all done without overacting at any place.
David Pastor and Alex Pastor have jointly written and directed the movie. The story is simple; however, it is the character study that forms the narrative of the film. The way a simple and successful guy loses his mind and the extent to which he goes to be the best is the engaging part.
The movie takes times to get going. The initial set up of the world and problems of Javier get repetitive very soon. If the reason was to convey his obsession with being the best, that is overdone and also made to look muddled at the same time. As an audience, one is not sure to sympathize or hate the character initially.
The same uneasiness follows in the second act as well when Javier befriends Tomas (Mario Casas). The lack of clarity of where the narrative is headed gets frustrating. The slow pace doesn’t help, either.
However, once things are clear after a point, once we get an idea of what Javier is up to, the narrative starts to develop the tension which was previously missing. Not that it wasn’t there earlier, but it wasn’t felt. It does after we know or understand what could be in the mind of Javier.
The sequences in the pre-climax where Javier executes all his plans with a little bit of tension thrown in are the best parts of The Occupant. They engage, no matter which side we take as an audience.
The ending is not the usual one, which is fine. The issue is the simple, and convenient evading of a more significant problem at the very end. Had that entire track been neatly integrated into the core narrative, the whole movie would have raised several notches higher.
Still, as it is, The Occupant is fine. It is a slow burner thriller with a different ending than what one usually expects. Give it a try if you like the genre as there is something fresh on the offer.
Apart from the lead character of Javier, none have a fully developed part with layers like him. Among the ones we have, Tomas (Mario Casas), Lara (Bruna Cusi) and Marga (Ruth Diaz), the actors playing them have done well within the limitations of their roles. Mario Casas and Bruna Cusi are better than Ruth Diaz. The rest are passable in their brief parts.
Music and Other Departments?
The music by Lucas Vidal is alright for the scope given in the narrative. There are a few moments which stand out, but most of it is very subdued. The cinematography by Pau Castejon is neat. The editing could have been crispier as in a bit more sharper. The director duo who have also written has done a decent job with it as well.
Pre-climax and Climax
Muddled Narrative At the Start
Weak Supporting Cast Parts
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, for the most parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, with little reservations
Review by Siddartha Toleti
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