Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Bad Day to Go Fishing'
If you’re trolling the video shelves for an art house oddity that never made it to local theater screens, check out the weird and strangely compelling “Bad Day to Go Fishing” (due out on DVD Tuesday).
Described in Variety as “something like a retro ‘The Wrestler’ by way of the Coen brothers … with sharp production values and a fair share of pulp fatalism,” this debut feature from director Alvaro Brechner was Uruguay’s official submission for 2010’s Academy Award as best foreign language film.
The darkly comic film noir is set in the shabby, backwater South American village of Santa Maria circa 1961, where washed-up pro wrestler Jacob van Oppen (Jouko Ahola), once billed as “the strongest man on earth,” arrives with his oily manager Orsini (Gary Piquer) to arrange a match with a local amateur challenger.
The scheme usually yields some quick and easy money for this oddball pair, with the shifty Orsini (in grifter’s terms “the fisherman”) hoodwinking the local yokels while claiming to be a down-on-his-luck prince. But this time, a series of complications – including the aging Jacob’s existential meltdown due to his faltering physical prowess and Orsini’s conflict with a stubborn femme fatale (Antonella Costa) – make it more and more difficult to scam the suspicious townspeople as the big wrestle-off approaches.
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