Perfectos Desconocidos | Review

 

Based on the 2016 Italian movie, Perfetti Sonossciuti, Perfectos Desconocidos (2018) is a Mexican black comedy film directed by Manolo Caro, best known as the creator of Netflix’s La Casa de las Flores. Set the night of a dinner between friends, the movie follows the events that transpire after the group decides to play a game where they must read every message and answer every call on-speaker that they receive during dinner. Infidelity, lies, and cover-ups are discovered as messages and calls cause the friends’ dishonesty to be revealed.

Before walking into the theater, I’ll admit that I was a bit reluctant towards the film. I found that, based on the trailer, if the problem was that the lies were being revealed, then they shouldn’t be friends (or married) at all. But, to my surprise, after the initial bias and borderline-sexist jokes settled, the film turned out to be an enjoyable experience.

The cast of the movie.

Problematic characteristics aside, the characters proved to be likable and interesting. They had depth, which was impressive given that they canonically had only a few hours to introduce themselves to the audience. Likewise, the exposition didn’t feel overbearing.

Perhaps its most commendable feat was the director’s ability to not make the movie seem claustrophobic. The entire movie was set in one setting—Cecilia Suárez’s (from La casa de las Flores) dining room—and in the span of merely a few hours, but the dialogue, character interaction, and camera work were interactive enough to make you forget that you were technically just watching a dinner party. In fact, to a point, it made you feel that you were at the dinner party watching the lives of your friends fall apart.

The movie’s main message is the reflection on how much people hide from others around them, and the lengths they go to keep their dishonesty a secret. How much can you find out about someone by what they keep on their phones? What actions do we take that seem appropriate to us, but would raise a red flag to the ones we love? Why, to begin with, do we hide things?

Manolo Caro at a press conference.

I left the theater room with that reflection. It’s true that people take actions that are not acceptable to others, and, as one of the characters denounces, the problem isn’t others finding out—the problem is we shouldn’t have done those things in the first place.

Perfectos Desconocidos is a good movie. It feels natural; nothing is presented in a way that seems unrealistic. Upon watching, even if we laugh at their dishonesty, we should take note to not act in a way that is dishonest and insulting to the ones we are supposed to love. Because, as the movie shows, a lot could happen if we are exposed.