Rent Azor (2021)

3.2 of 5 from 165 ratings
1h 36min
Rent Azor Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
A remarkably assured debut from Swiss director Andreas Fontana, 'Azor' invites us into the alluring world of the ultra-wealthy in 1980's Argentina. Set in Buenos Aires, the film follows private banker Yvan (Fabrizio Rongione) as he arrives from Geneva with his wife Ines (Stéphanie Cléau) to replace a mysteriously missing colleague and placate their moneyed clientele. Moving through the smoke-filled lounges and lush gardens of a society under intense surveillance, he finds himself untangling a sinister web of colonialism, high finance, and a nation's "Dirty War".
Actors:
, , Carmen Iriondo, Juan Trench, Ignacio Vila, Pablo Torre Nilson, Juan Pablo Geretto, Alexandre Trocki, Yvain Juillard, , , , Alain Gegenschatz, Pablo Larralde, Raúl Lissarague, Denise Carrizo, Ioana Padilla, Federico de Martis, Rafael de Martis, Alejo de los Reyes
Directors:
Andreas Fontana
Producers:
David Epiney, Eugenia Mumenthaler
Writers:
Andreas Fontana, Mariano Llinás
Studio:
Mubi
Genres:
Drama, Thrillers
Countries:
Argentina
BBFC:
Release Date:
31/01/2022
Run Time:
96 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 2.0, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Q&A with Director Andreas Fontana and Matias Pineiro
BBFC:
Release Date:
31/01/2022
Run Time:
100 minutes
Languages:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
Bonus:
  • Q&A with Director Andreas Fontana and Matias Pineiro

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Reviews (3) of Azor

Ominous and understated - Azor review by WS

Spoiler Alert
05/12/2021

The film is set during the “Dirty War” of the late 70s and early 80s perpetrated by the Argentinian military Junta against suspected leftists and other dissidents. I thought it was going to be very much a by-the-numbers conspiracy thriller . . . but how wrong I was. The scenario is a familiar one – a conscientious and hardworking man with a satisfactory but mundane life, who encounters corruption in high places and faces the dilemma of whether to expose it, risking his own life, or keep quiet and be morally compromised by it. It’s very much a slow-burner, however, which achieves what it sets out to achieve without assassinations, explosions or shock revelations.

The central protagonist, Yvan de Wiel, comes across as quietly confident but rather passive, over-polite and lacking in flair – he shows excellent social skills in dealing with super-rich and well-connected clients, but completely lacks the bad-boy, alpha-male flamboyance that we tend to associate with investment bankers. Ines is the one who “wears the trousers” – she tells Yvan what to wear for the first meeting in Argentina and criticising him for not being ambitious enough. Argentina is evidently a country in which business deals are conducted with a lot of foreplay and rapport-building, in contrast to the brisk, cut-to-the-chase approach that prevails in Switzerland and the US, and so we see the couple attending a succession of pool parties and other social engagements in which Yvan and Ines spend more time buttering up clients than offering them practical advice. But there is a subtle air of menace even in these scenes of apparent ease and nonchalance. Even the rich are insecure; it becomes clear that the tuxedo-wearing, horse-and-hound set are not the true elites of the country and that wealth offers no protection against getting “disappeared” by the regime. In an exclusive members’ club called the Circle of Arms, Yvan gets to meet the top brass - an ambassador, an admiral, a general - and gets the clearest indication yet that he’s about to get the proverbial “offer you can’t refuse”. The contrast between the men’s affable good humour and the knowledge that they would happily feed him through a tree-shredder if he should he prove uncooperative, is truly disconcerting. In a scene reminiscent of "Apocalyse Now", Yvan is taken on a boat trip through the jungle where the unpleasant nature of his mission becomes crystal-clear.

Not for those who insist on an incident-laden story, it relies for its impact on suggestion and understatement, and is carried by the strong central performances and the cinematography. Finally, at a time when over-use of music in films is becoming a frequent complaint by discerning movie-goers, “Azor” is a masterclass in minimalist - and minimal - use of music, which is all the more effective and ominous as a result.

5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

An interesting film that doesn't quite deliver - Azor review by Philip in Paradiso

Spoiler Alert
23/05/2022

This is an interesting and slightly odd film. It takes place in 1980s Argentina, when the military junta is asserting its control over society, which it intends to 'cleanse' and 'purify' of subversive elements. People disappear. The Church and the State work hand in hand with the military. In the midst of all this, a Swiss banker (private banking) arrives to take over from his colleague, who has mysteriously disappeared. He arrives with his wife. His intention is to meet all the bank's clients and preserve his client base.

The film is very good at re-creating the atmosphere in the country at the time - an atmosphere of anguish, dread, fear and menace. Tension is in the air. Even among the upper echelons of society, who are incredibly privileged, fear is ever-present. The dilemma for the Swiss banker is, of course, to know how far he is prepared to go in terms of working with members of the elite who may be compromised with a repressive, neo-Fascist regime.

The movie is almost cerebral. It seems to be built around a concept, and that concept is that of absence: absence of freedom, absence of democracy, absence of safety, absence of moral principles, absence of people (who disappear), the absence of the central character's predecessor (who has vanished into thin air), etc. That absence is a kind of threatening void, always present and never talked about. That void is at the heart of the film. As the central character - the Swiss banker - moves about among the sophisticated and secretive members of the upper class and the regime, things are hinted at rather than said. Everything is understated, in the style of Swiss banking, in a way.

The problem is that all this dramatic build-up leads to a climax that is not really a climax: a kind of cinematic coitus interruptus. And the film comes to an end, leaving you a bit frustrated. The movie is so understated and low-key, in that Swiss banker's kind of way, that it ends up being a little bit like its central character - a bit dull and too slow, in the manner of a cautious Swiss banker. So, an intriguing and somewhat intellectual film, which may have been over-rated by reviewers, who have presented it as a (minor) masterpiece.

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

A peek inside the world of private finance and those that will do whatever it takes to ascend - Azor review by MM

Spoiler Alert
14/06/2022

A peek inside the world of private finance and those that will do whatever it takes to ascend. This is a very different and engaging film. It commands your attention and the plot moves in this direction then that leaving you ever so slightly unsure of where it's going. There are some remarkable performances and the cast pulls it off effortlessly. Do't let your attention stray because you'll struggle to keep up with the nuance of it all.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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