Comical Just Deserts
Release Date: August 20, 2004
Genre: Black Comedy/Thriller
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 93 minutes
Distributor: Arenas Entertainment
Address Comments To:Arenas Entertainment
100 North Crescent Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: (310) 385-4401
Fax: (310) 385-4402
GENRE: Black Comedy/Thriller
In the story, Lolo, a young computer hacker and peeping tom who spies on his sexy neighbor, Andrea, downloads access to some Swiss bank accounts for his two friends, who are selling the CD to two Russian gangster types for a load of diamonds. An argument with Andrea, who discovers Lolo’s voyeurism, causes Lolo to mix up the Swiss CD with one of his CDs of Andrea in a state of undress. Consequently, a sudden shootout between the Russians and Lolo’s two friends, Nene and Tomson, leaves one of the Russians dead, one wounded and Nene also wounded.
The wounded Russian escapes with the diamonds, but tries to hide in the barbershop he regularly visits, where he suddenly dies. The barber’s wife tries to convince her henpecked husband to cut open the Russian’s belly where she thinks the diamonds are located. Meanwhile, Tomson takes Nene to a female druggist having a crazy ongoing fight with her live-in boyfriend. A series of hilarious, dark events ensues where, one by one, all the bad guys get their just deserts.
NICOTINA is a funny, well-acted, well-scripted morality tale filled with heavy irony. It not only may remind moviegoers of Tarantino’s work, it also may remind them of the macabre humor in some of Alfred Hitchcock’s work (REAR WINDOW and THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY). It’s more of a continuous black comedy than Hitchcock, however, and less bloody and gruesome than Tarantino’s movie. There is a scene, however, showing the manicurists hands and forearms all bloody, from a distance, with an apparent gaping hole in the Russian’s stomach. NICOTINA also contains plenty of strong foul language.
Philosophically, there’s a running debate in the movie between Nene and Tomson about smoking, fate and causality. Nene, a smoker, thinks life is full of constant coincidences and getting lung cancer is just one of those coincidences, a bad twist of fate that only affects some smokers. Tomson, however, thinks the universe is full of cause and effect. He believes there are definite consequences to your actions, and, if you smoke, you increase your chances of an early death.
Some may argue that NICOTINA clearly shows the effect of Fate and Coincidence on these characters’ lives, especially Tomson’s, the night the story takes place. It seems clear, however, that the immoral actions and choices of the characters, and the nicotine habits of most of them, play a crucial role in creating the comical tragedies befalling them. Even so, bad things happen to both the smokers and non-smokers in the movie, so perhaps Nene is right after all in his defense of that unhealthy habit.
NICOTINA is a funny, well-acted, well-scripted morality tale filled with heavy irony. It not only may remind moviegoers of Quentin Tarantino’s work, it also may remind them of the macabre humor in some of Alfred Hitchcock’s work, such as REAR WINDOW and THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. There is some strong violence, however, plus plenty of strong foul language, but the sexual references are light. Although there is talk of fate and coincidence, it seems clear that the immoral actions of the worst of the characters, and the nicotine habits of most of them, play a crucial role in creating the comical tragedies befalling them. That’s a positive message, but the rough content requires extreme caution.