A Spanish immigrant living in 1980s France fights to escape a world of violence and destruction in Tony, the stylish new crime flick from director/actor Hugo Diego Garcia. Check out our review to find out what we thought now!
Tony is a stylish and slick short from director Hugo Diego Garcia, which plays like a homage to City of God in its cool, erratic visual tone and style. Set in France in the 1980s, the film tells the story of a Spanish immigrant: the eponymous Tony (also played by the film’s director Hugo Diego Garcia), who becomes caught up in a world of violence and destruction against his better wishes and judgment. What follows is a violent, pulpy ride into an underworld of gangs and violence, all handled with panache and flair.
It must be said, that Tony is very impressive from the point of view of an amateur, low-budget movie. The film is a short, running at 35 minutes, and as such, starts and ends before it has the chance to become dull or uninteresting. This is a massive credit to it, as the film is so visually inventive and exciting compared to most low-budget and amateur movies that to waste this with a slow or overly-padded story would have been a massive shame.
Some of the script’s dialogue falls a little flat through some of the acting in the film, and it sometimes feels a little stale in places. Having said this, it’s a very minor critique and doesn’t get in the way of anything else of its brilliance. This is primarily because the story is interesting, and provides some interesting socio-political commentary from real-life history by placing a young Spanish immigrant with a caring personality in the middle of 1980s France.
Diego Garcia obviously has a personal connection or strong interest in this cultural landscape/time in history, and it shows as he tells the story with dedication and knowledge. I enjoyed this aspect, as I always find it fun to learn something from a film as well as gaining enjoyment. Props must go to Diego Garcia in particular for both playing the lead and also directing the film. He helms the ship strongly and manages to balance these two difficult jobs very well. The aid of a talented cinematographer is obviously at play here too, and the two make an excellent team.
Tony is an impressive feat, which excels particularly for its visual flair and dedication to creating the world that the fit is set in. The set design is awesome, and all feels very gritty and real: there were several moments that felt as though they were actually taking place in 1980s France. In addition to these merits, Tony packs an emotional punch as well, especially with its handling of Tony’s abusive father and how this affects our protagonist, who for all intents and purposes, has a good heart and is just looking for a way out of the life he has unfortunately been handed.
There’s been a strong and clear dedication through Tony to make an interesting (both visually and thematically) film, and aside from a few underdeveloped performances and minor technical things, like sound levels, for example, the filmmakers have achieved it tenfold.