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Chalán (Gofer)

by on July 18, 2013
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“Chalán” is a Spanish melodrama exploring one man’s suffering and balance of morality. A “chalán,” or “gofer” in English, refers to a professional errand boy of sorts.

Alan, played convincingly by Noe Hernandez, is the lackey of an overbearing, corrupt Mexican congressman who subjects Alan to a litany of indignant abuses. Maintaining a whipping boy status throughout the movie, not only to the congressman but his coworkers as well, Alan delivers a cunning coup de grace in the vindictive climax, consequently altering his destiny forever.

Unfortunately, the twist ending is offered up at the opening sequence of the film, ultimately hindering the inevitable vengeance because you anticipate it from the onset. “Chalán” manages to maintain a high level of suspense, but one is left to wonder how much better off the film would have been with a more ambiguous opening.

Despite shooting itself in the foot within the first scene, “Chalán” is still a gripping and dramatic tale of revenge. Juan Carlos Remolina brilliantly plays the role of the oppressive congressman, providing the perfect complement to the far more understated Alan. While the film could have benefited from a feature-length running time and an alternate opening, “Chalán” still delivers a short but sweet melodrama.

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