To Die In San Hilario Review

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The villagers of San Hilario, fallen on hard times, are eagerly awaiting the arrival of German Cortes who has chosen the village, due to it's wide reputation for beautiful and extravagant funerals, as his last resting place. However the man who turns up is not what he seems.


That old chestnut, the mistaken identity, is the basis for this whimsical 1930s-set Spanish comedy. The mistake in question is made by the inhabitants of the inappropriately named backwater town of San Hilario, a depressed community that has kept itself alive, as it were, by catering for the dead.

The eccentric townfolk are counting on the arrival of an old codger named Germán Cortes — who is willing to pay to be buried in San Hilario’s pretty cemetery — to revive their fortunes. But when Cortes dies en route and a gangster (played by Lluís Homar, last seen in the UK in Bad Education) with a sack of stolen loot turns up instead, confusion ensues. The laughs are a bit thin on the ground, but the hulking Homar is a watchable presence in this handsomely shot period piece.

Visually sumptuous and atmospheric, with some energetic performances but , for a comedy, this is a little short on laughs.