Spanish actor Raúl Arévalo opens his directorial debut, The Fury of a Patient Man (Tarde para la Ira), with a bravura two-minute shot set inside a car: after a botched robbery, a getaway driver careens down the streets of Madrid until the car flips upside down in a violent crash. It’s a breathtaking scene that loudly proclaims the arrival of a new talent.
Arévalo proves that he’s not just a one-take wonder with the rest of this twisty thriller, which won four Goya Awards (the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars), including Best Film and Best New Director.
After the shocking opening, we jump forward eight years as we meet José (Antonio de la Torre), a mysterious, softly spoken man who becomes a frequent visitor to a café run by Ana (Ruth Díaz). A gritty romance drama unfolds as we follow José’s attempt to court Ana, whose boyfriend Curro (Luis Callejo) is about to be released after eight years in prison. However, the story takes a whole new direction when we realise that Curro was the getaway driver in the opening and that José has been waiting for him all along.
Despite being a first-time director, Arévalo displays an assured hand as both director and co-writer. He tells his story in an economical 92 minutes without sacrificing emotion and character. The film is tense and coldly violent at times but, like the best revenge films, it never uses the act of vengeance for cheap thrills.
The Fury of a Patient Man is an exhilarating genre film, but it’s made with such care and precision that it turns brutality into a work of art. It has a killer concept that is ripe for a Hollywood remake – but there’s no need to replicate something that’s already near perfect.
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Restless Traveller Sydrome
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Altitude-Adjusted Lachrymosity Syndrome
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Fear of Missing Out
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