Building on an original premise, the Spanish film Intacto explores the factor of good luck as a talent, a possession, a power, that one can gain control over and master, or have it, and everything, irrevocably taken away.

Intacto film reviewThe film shows a clever sampling of sophisticated games of chance where luck, rather than skill, must dominate in order to win. What the film doesn’t do, unfortunately, is explore the inner workings of this power of luck. How is Samuel, played by Max von Sydow, able to take – or give – this power away? Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo shows how luck works within the confines of the games, but does not explore if this run of good luck work on all fronts outside of the play. Is Tomas able to go into a pub and walk out with the hottest chick there on his arm because he is lucky? Certainly Sara is lucky enough to have escaped the automobile accident, but does she feel that it is due to luck that she survived? And were any of these characters overly lucky before the key events that drew attention to them?

Intacto imaginatively moves these characters into a, seriously, winner-takes-all environment, yet there was room for more exploration. Such exploration would not have burdened the film either. After all, everyone could do with a bit more good luck.

A version of this review was posted on

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