7 Virgins

"Very Good"

7 Virgins Review


7 Virgins crams a lot of life into a very quick 48-hour time period. That's the break 16-year-old Tano (the excellent Juan José Ballesta) has been given from his Seville, Spain reform school so he can attend his brother Santacana's (Vicente Romero) wedding. But letting Tano out is not exactly the best idea. He has a lot of catching up to do, and he's in a big hurry. No sooner has his brother picked him up than the trouble begins. A compelling blend of The 400 Blows, Y Tu Mamá También, and quite a few other coming-of-age movies you may think of, it's a weekend of drama that propels itself forward with incredible velocity.

What's the best way for Tano to buy his brother a wedding present? By hooking up with his equally troubled and delinquent friend Richi (first-time actor Jesús Carroza) to snatch a wallet at the mall. He uses the cash to pick up a TV, which he proudly delivers to the apartment Santacana shares with their aged grandmother. Tano also has to hurry to reunite with his girlfriend Wendy (Iride Barroso), who gets him into bed instantly for a quick round of frantic teenage lovemaking before he has to go out and meet up with his gang, a skittish group that cruises the public pools looking for girls and then cruises the city streets looking for trouble. Turf must be protected in Seville, and rival gangs protect it with knives and tire irons.

Though writer/director Alberto Rodríguez doesn't offer too much insight into what made Tano such a bad seed (we're left to assume it's the lack of parents that did him in), he does clearly demonstrate that Tano is a kid utterly without options. Given what happens to him when he's out and about on the hot, bleached-out streets of Seville, reform school actually looks like his best choice in life. He enjoys fantasizing with Richi about a future in which they'll share a huge apartment and spend lots of money, but it's obvious that neither boy has much hope of achieving such goals. In fact, as damaged as Tano is, Richi is far worse off, and his habitual recklessness -- from the way he rides his motorbike to the way he deals with the people he rips off -- seems to make him destined for doom.

Sanatacana's wedding turns out to be a drab and low-class affair at which he himself chooses not to stay. Tano and Richie are all spiffed up for the occasion in borrowed suits, and they drink to excess, but the fun is short-lived because tomorrow Tano will go back behind the walls of reform school unless he can quickly form an alternate plan.

While coming-of-age films are a dime a dozen, there's enough detail and pathos in 7 Virgins to make it memorable. Like Antoine in The 400 Blows, Tano is hard to forget, and as common as his dilemma may be, his suffering seems specific and painful.

Aka 7 vírgenes, Seven Virgins.

Here there are only three virgins.



7 Virgins

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th October 2005

Production compaines: Tesela, P.C., La Zanfoñia Producciones

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Alberto Rodríguez

Producer: José Antonio Félez

Starring: Juan José Ballesta as Tono, Jesús Carroza as Richi, as Policía, as Herself, Muriel as Muriel Moreno, Iride Barroso as Paz Padilla, Alba Rodríguez as Patri, Vicente Romero as Santacana

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