Spanish cinematographic narrators do not lavish Thriller in French politicians like Emperor Code (2022). We have all the necessary social drama, but films that delve into the ins and outs of government life in this country are rare. A curious paradox, because what happens in regional and state parliaments and the comings and goings of parties feed daily conversations.
For this reason, when a film is released which deals with the functioning of what are called the state sewers, we decide to see how it went for Jorge Corira his fourth feature film after the year of the tick (2004), eighteen meals (2010) and Eroski paradise (2019). And frankly, the hour and forty-four minutes of Emperor CodeIt gives us mixed feelings.
Despite what he says is interesting and amazing by the methods of surveillance, control and pure blackmail that he describes and the rot that can hide under the old carpets of the buildings of the capital in which, it is assumed, civil servants work for the citizens. For this part, Jorge Coira and the author of the libretto, Jorge Guerricaechevarría, won us over.
‘Emperor Code’: an interesting story without great audiovisual energy
What happens is that the curiosity aroused by the plot details of Emperor Code and the background they designate, capable of producing sincere indignation, cannot remove from the film a defect which, unfortunately, greatly reduces your efficiency arouse real concern in the spectators and leave an appropriate imprint on their minds, not necessarily indelible, but at least lasting.
As much as Sandra Sánchez, with a career not yet very prominent, strives for a refined and agile editing from the first sequence, the film by Jorge Coira, who has also directed a good number of episodes for television series such as I know who you are (2017), Iron (2019-2021) or next grated (2022), sins of a certain audiovisual weakness which he never recovers from.
So what we witness in Emperor Code lack of power in the images that compose it. Its timely but mindless visual planning and even the soundtrack by Elba Fernández and Xavi Font don’t help the screen vibrate with tension or emotion. And not what was written by the Basque Jorge Guerricaechevarria; let us now clarify this point to avoid impertinent confusions.
Someone who gave us the wonderful scenarios of They are watching us (2002), cell 2011 (2009) or border laws (2021) and most of those who go the lengths of his compatriot Álex de la Iglesia, of mutant action (1993), going through watch the crime (2004), until Venicephrenia (2021), in the of Emperor Code he wasn’t too eloquent; only occasionally, one might say.
A credible cast in a film without dramatic power
When it comes to casting, it seems hard to ask for better. The credibility that the talent of Luis Tosar gives to Juanwho played José in Mondays in the sun (2002), to the brutal Antonio of I give you my eyes (2003), to the formidable Malamadre in the above cell 2011to the wicked Caesar of while you sleep (2011) or the Ibon Etxezarreta of mayabel (2011), it would be very absurd to question it.
Or that of the other actorsby Alexandra Masangkay, remembered for her Miharu in The hole (2019), Georgina Amorós, who played Fatima from Vis à vis (2015-2019), or Denis Gómez, who gave life to Ferdinand Magellan from Pathfinders: Adventvm (2017), as Wendy, Marta and Ángel González, to María Botto, who was Conchi in Salamis soldiers (2003), or Miguel Rellán, the Cristóbal López of the one who comes (since 2007), like Charo and Galán.
Either way, you can’t go wrong. We don’t want to let the work of the cast and that of the rest of the team led by Jorge Coira fall on deaf ears. Emperor Code really recovers without too much difficulty. But that doesn’t shock us when what he shows us is enough to move us in our armchairs. And yet, if one is crazy about unusual stories like that of The kingdom (2018), by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, it was good not to miss it.