Friday, 25 June 2010

The Man Next Door - EIFF - Cineworld - 24/6/10

"Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours, with a little understanding, that's when good neighbours become good friends"

So said the theme tune to Australian soap "Neighbours".

Whoever wrote the lyrics had never experienced the sort of tumultous relationship shown in "The Man Next Door".

Leonardo is a trendy, slightly pretentious, middle-aged designer who lives in a beautiful, design classic, apartment in Bueonos Aires. He has a dream life...beautiful wife, good job, slightly truculent pre-teen daughter and a gorgeous home. Early one morning Leonardo wakes up to find a hole being knocked through the wall of the apartment that sits just a few feet from his living room. The flat opposite has been bought by the sinister, thuggish looking, Victor who claims he needs to install a window in order to get some of the rays that Leonardo enjoys.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between the two men which appears to have no ability to reach any sort of satisfactory conclusion. Initially our sympathies lie with Leonardo as he struggles to protect his privacy but slowly we are drawn to Victor as the elitist, snobbish attitude of Leonardo and his friends towards the more "uncouth" Victor shows itself.

A funny, menacing and thoroughly engaging film "The Man Next Door" takes a well known and well worn plot device and delivers something mean feat.

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