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Unconscious (Inconscientes) Review

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Heavily preganant Alma and her brother-in-law search for her psychiatrist husband who has disappeared with no explanation from 1913 Barcelona. They start to uncover a disturbing mystery.

★★★★

Foreign-language cinema is often accused of pomposity. But Joaquín Oristrell’s gleeful disregard for arthouse decorum gives this costume romp an irresistible energy. Set in Barcelona in 1913, the frantic action follows the pregnant Leonor Watling as she enlists the help of buttoned-up brother-in-law Luis Tosar to track down her errant psychiatrist husband, Alex Brendemühl.

Taking periodic pops at psychoanalysis, the story rattles along as the duo link Brendemühl’s treatment of four females to his obsession with Freud. It may lack subtlety, but everything is beautifully designed and photographed, Watling and Tosar are superb and it’s undeniably great fun.

Played to the hilt by an inspired cast, this may not be the most subtle comedy ever made, but it has an impudence and an energy that atones for its occasional resort to contrivance and cheap gags.