Hats off to Viggo Mortensen. He pulls off playing identical twins in this Argentinian thriller, which never quite lives up to his talents. A lesser actor would make the whole thing look gimmicky. Not Mortensen, who’s fierce, totally immersed and utterly convincing as both brothers. Agustín is a doctor in new-man cashmere living in Buenos Aires. His shady brother Pedro still lives on one of the maze of islands where they grew up – a wild west, back-of-beyond place. Sick with cancer and implicated in a botched kidnap, Pedro pays an out-of-the-blue visit to his brother in the city.
Mortensen, although born in New York, spent part of his childhood in Buenos Aires and looks totally in his element acting in Spanish. The film is less at ease. It sprawls into a kind of swamp-noir as Agustín returns to his childhood home alone. He’s pretending to be Pedro, which throws up some tense scenes: the locals can see he’s acting strangely. Do they suspect? But the story doesn’t add up. Why is Agustín leaving his cosy, middle-class life? Once he realises the trouble Pedro is mixed up in, why doesn’t he scarper? Disappointing.