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The Hours Of The Day Review

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The unmotivated strangling of a female cabbie is seemingly the last thing on Abel's mind, as he contends with the three women in his life - his doting mother, a girlfriend insisting on greater commitment, and the assistant he needs to sack at his struggling Barcelona clother shop.

★★★★★

Not since Krzysztof Kieslowski's A Short Film About Killing has the act of murder seemed so random, cruel and difficult as in Jaime Rosales' resolutely realist drama.

However, the unmotivated strangling of a female cabbie is seemingly the last thing on Abel's (Brendemuhl) mind, as he contends with the three women in his life - his doting mother, a girlfriend insisting on greater commitment, and the assistant he needs to sack at his struggling Barcelona clothes shop.

As in Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman - in which attention to mundane detail culminates in a senseless death - it doesn't take much to tip the pacific into the psychotic.

The subsequent return of banality may frustrate some, but it's now intriguingly laced with suspense as we anticipate another crime or Abel's arrest.

The return of banality after a random killing may frustrate some, but it's now intriguingly laced with suspense as we anticipate another crime or Abel's arrest.