Séptimo review: Despite its twists and turns, Paxti Amezcua’s ‘Séptimo’ has the feel of a typical Hollywood film.

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Maybe you don’t go to the movies with your family too often because that usually entails having to translate for mami and papi what’s happening on screen and why the audience is laughing. The last time you got dragged along to a theater with them was to watch Mr. Bean’s Holiday in which they kicked and screamed with laughter while you texted your friends about putting money together for a bottle of Bacardi Limon to go to a party at so-and-so’s house, later that evening. Maybe your parents don’t have a particularly refined taste when it comes to films, and after all, who could blame them when all they have access to are dubs of bad 80’s action flicks on Telefutura. Or perhaps all this time their ironic sense of humor has been too far advanced for you to even grasp and you’ve been out-hipstered at your own game.

If you’ve seen Taken, chances are, that probably means you’ve seen Séptimo– Paxti Amezcua’s sophomore screening at the Miami International Film Festival and the film’s world premier in the United States. In Séptimo, the story centers on a man living in Argentina named Sebastian– a crooked lawyer in much the same way as Saul Goodman– but a much more successful one at that. He loves his two young children and has an estranged ex-wife, Delia, whom he refuses to sign divorce papers for. Delia’s father’s health is in decline at his home in Spain so she would like to take the kids with her while she cares for him through his last remaining months. One morning when Sebastian has the kids, they race him down the stairs of his apartment building while he takes the elevator. After being stuck in the elevator for a few minutes, he arrives to the lobby to find that his children have gone missing.

Ricardo Darín plays the suit-wearing alpha male gentleman to great effect, resembling a Hispanic Daniel. While the film features excellent work from the actors as well as the director, it falls short in its resolution of the events. Does Séptimo perpetuate the acceptance of a patriarchal system in which it’s okay for men to be irresponsible womanizers and women must be saints? If you’re looking for a film to enjoy with your Spanish-speaking family members, Séptimo is up there on the list of films to see. Tickets for Séptimo have sold out for both of its screenings but an additional third screening will be offered on Sunday, March 16th at the Regal South Beach.

James Duran

Jaie Laplante

Jaie Laplante is the Miami Film Festival's executive director and director of programming. Learn more about Jaie on Programmers.