Luna's Game
Director: Monica Laguna

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Luna's Game Luna (Ana Torrent) looking spooky is a well known card player among high-stakes gamblers.

We're introduced to her in Luna's Game (Juego de Luna, 2001) at mid-game, then there's a flashback to her childhood with a gambler father.

When still a child she was already drinking, smoking, & fascinated by her father's unpredictable life. Dad just bet, & lost, their house, over which he gets himself killed.

As a teenager she was still addicted to drinking, smoking, gambling, while failing at schoolwork, except math, the only thing useful for the future she sees for herself as a professional gambler.

Luna was named for the Luna Tavern, where her mother died giving birth, where her father lost their house. She was raised by the bartender (Carlos Kaniowsky). And then the long flashback ends & we're back to Ana Torrent in the central role.

Luna's GameHer boyfriend Nano (Ernesto Alterio) is a career criminal, currently in jail. She meets Juan (Manuel San MartĚn) as the soundtrack provides them with a love theme, Tom Waits' "Heart of Saturday Night" though not sung by Waits.

Luck had turned against Luna for some while. Still, she must play, so indebts herself to a killer/loanshark so as to be in the big game with Reca (Manuel Moron).

Reca was at the table on her father's last game, & Luna's obsessed with beating him. Alas, she fails. And now she owes an extravagant debt to Cesar (Antonio Dechent), who killed her father.

The same men responsible for the ruin & death of her father have brought her down as well. She's relentless in pushing onward even without a stake. She confronts her father's killer, & bets her services to clear all debt in one hand.

This is a first-rate gambling thriller with none of the usual cliches. And bigger than Luna's last game is her amazing humanity & heroism. We're in for a bigger pay-off than winning or revenge or any other climax you could've seen coming. Great stuff! Great star!

copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl

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