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Staunch Test FAIL.

Angel (Mario Casa) is an unsympathetic paramedic who lives with his girlfriend Vane (Déborah François). He is abusive and when he is left paralysed after a bad accident his behaviour gets even worse. He enjoys gaslighting and mocking Vane. He doesn’t trust her and he installs spyware on her phone. When she finds out that he is spying on her she leaves him but that doesn’t stop him, he starts stalking her.

Spanish thriller movies have recently been praised and enjoyed by a more international audience thanks to streaming platforms such as Netflix. These movies are usually realistic psychological slow burns and frequently have an unexpected twist at the end. Films such as The Invisible Guest (2016) and The Body (2012) gave a new and wider exposure to Spanish film productions. 

El Practicante seemed to have it all. It is a psychological thriller movie starring a well known Spanish actor in the main role and it was partially written by David Desola who also wrote the screenplay for El Hoyo (2019) which is another well praised Spanish production. But despite all this, this movie is a disappointment. 

Carles Torras’ El Practicante is nothing more than a bland kidnaping/captor movie with no real thrills and with thinly written characters. There’s no one to root for throughout the movie, there are no twists at all and the ending leaves much to be desired. 

When Angel finds out that Vane is not only seeing someone else but also expecting a child he kidnaps her and kills her new partner. He drugs her so she can’t escape and keeps telling her that they’re going to raise the baby together. 

From the beginning of the movie Vane is tortured psychologically and physically. She gets tied up, gagged, drugged and hit several times. Angel just wants to own her, he never cared about her and he just wants to see her suffer. 

She stabs him at the end freeing herself from him but no, that’s not the end. After their final confrontation Angel is now completely paralysed, he can’t move nor talk and Vane tells him that she will be taking care of him now. It is left intended that she will be the one torturing him from now on. So, to recap, she wants to take revenge so badly that she doesn’t want him to go to jail and she still wants to live with him just to make him pay for what he did to her. The ending doesn’t seem right, it doesn’t do justice to her and it is not original nor satisfying in any way. 

Spanish thriller movies have been praised for their originality and authenticity but this one is just another movie about an evil heartless man who wants to manipulate his girlfriend. 

Haven’t we seen enough movies like this? Did we really need another one?

El Practicante is a #StaunchTestFail.

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