TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘The Moneychanger’

TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘The Moneychanger’

Asi Hablo El Cambista, or The Moneychanger, is Federico Veiroj’s latest film and so far, his strangest. Here he strays from the routine that bogged down his previous character study film, Belmonte. And his misfit protagonist here, Humberto Brause (Daniel Hendler), is a perfect addition to TIFF’s odd leading characters. Humberto is the titular money changer, helping corrupt politicians schlep money in and out of Uruguay. During the 70s, the South American country, it explains, was a perfect piggy bank for its neighbors. He does this work beside his suffering wife Gudrun (Dolores Fonzi), who spends the money he makes.

Veiroj wonderfully pushes his surrealist tendencies here both through the performances and through intricate character design. Nobody’s hair looks normal, and Veiroj accordingly gets quirky yet subtle performances from his two main actors. And the subtle touches within this world are what makes Humberto’s rise and fall stand out. The only thing that sets this movie back is how some audiences might receive these characters’ quirkiness.

I can anticipate that some might see these qualities as distracting from what they’re actually doing. These are corrupt people. Is the decision to make them laughing stocks as bad as glamorizing them? And my answer to that is yes, and there are other things that make this film worthwhile. Veiroj also has a beautiful eye in depicting a corrupt man who wants to have coffee. There’s also a scene with Gudrun induces a heart attack on Humberto, making for some comedic cinema.

For more information go to https://www.tiff.net/events/the-moneychanger.

  • Release Date: 9/8/2019
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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