Film Review: La Restauración
By Rosalie Rubio
La Restauración is a tragicomedy that begins with 50-year-old Tato (Paul Vega) having to return to his bedridden mother, Rosa’s (Attilia Boschetti) mansion after a divorce. Unhappy with constant berating from his mother over his joblessness and coke addiction, Tato seeks financial independence to become part of the fast-growing nouveau riche community in Lima, Peru. He decides he’d like to sell his mother’s mansion -- despite her disapproval --- upon discovering what the economic boom in the real estate industry has done for a friend. Tato devises a plan to create a replica of her bedroom in the middle of nowhere in hopes that she would not find out about what has become of her home. Through manipulation and a crazy list of shenanigans, his plan is successful. Later, Tato finds himself in the quandary of his deception and struggles to keep the ruse up.
Navigating the rollercoaster of a plot for this film can leave you amused at the absurdity of Tato’s plan. Nevertheless, do not let the film’s part comedic genre fool you into believing that it is raunchy or unserious. There are pockets here and there that encourage you to smile amongst tough circumstances, but they aren’t overdone or out of sync with the tone of the film. Viewers will find it to be the right amount of comedy in this fun concoction.
In addition, the film sneaks in heartfelt moments that leave you sympathizing with everyone even with self-sabotaging Tato who can be one of those characters that are hard to root for. As a viewer, you wince at his deception and his on-going stream of bad decisions but ultimately hope all will work itself out at the end.
Speaking of the ending, La Restauración provides a satisfactory resolution. It isn’t too generous but it feels realistic and true to the characters. You’re left a little heartbroken but it’s a heartbreak that you’re actually okay with. Tato’s character arc is the “sweet” part in the bittersweet ending because there is true development that departs from his selfishness and infantilized state. The plot demands the spotlight for sure but Tato’s development is what seems to be the true star and the most rewarding aspect of the film.
Although Tato may have a long way to go in redeeming himself completely, he takes a few good first steps in the end when correcting his mistakes. Basically after 50 years of his life, he finally “grows up” and takes responsibility. And hey, it’s never too late right?