Javier Rebollo

Every hero of mythical proportions should have his own theme song. The Greatest American Hero had one, and so did Davey Crockett. Santos (José Sacristán), the mythic hero in Javier Rebollo’s The Dead Man And Being Happy, has his own theme song indeed, which plays over the film’s end credits. Santos is a veteran hitman who has offed many, and sets out on a journey across Argentina. Does he prove to be as epic as his song makes him out to be? While The Dead Man And Being Happy remains fairly bleak in tone and doesn’t establish enough of a rapport between its characters, it is quite successful, taking filmic risks with interesting narration and sound choices. Santos is terminally ill, with three cancerous tumors in his body. He also never went through with his last hit, leaving his target alive and taking the money anyway. His bosses are after him, so armed with illegally obtained morphine, he sets off in his car to evade them. When at a gas station, a younger woman, Erika (Roxana Blanco), and a man get into his car without warning and just sit there. He kicks them out and drives away, only to notice that the woman is limping. He has a change of heart and takes her along with him. She was faking the limp to get a ride, of course, but she ends up staying with Santos for the entire course of his long, strange roadtrip.

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