Javier Muñoz (Javier Gutierrez), who lives in Barcelona, is a successful advertising man in the past. He worked for a large company “Tilson” for many years, where he created advertising masterpieces known to almost everyone in the country. But now he is under fifty, he has not created masterpieces for a long time, he does not feel the demands of the modern world, and as a result, he was put out of Tilson. And the advertising world – it’s not too big, everyone knows each other in it, and, of course, in other companies, management is aware that Tilson got rid of Munoz.
Javier, of course, goes to interviews where he shows off his old work, but he is always rejected for obvious reasons: they don’t want a downed pilot, they want young advertisers with fresh ideas. Even good acquaintances did not help Javier: in one of the offices in which he knew the top manager well, they seemed to agree to hire him, but they offered him a humiliating internship contract, which means that he has to work for free for three months.
How is it free? And who will pay the bills? For a long time, Javier earned very well, so he lives with his family in a wealthy area in a huge designer apartment with panoramic views of Barcelona, his son goes to a prestigious private school, Javier himself drives an expensive executive BMW.
But now all this will have to be abandoned. The family has a small apartment in the marginal area of El Carmel, which they rented out to Asians – they had to move there. For Javier, this is all terribly humiliating: he is used to status and a certain wealth, and now he feels that he is gradually sinking to the very bottom.
He periodically comes to the area where they rented an apartment, and sees that some young family has settled in this apartment.
At some point, Javier discovers the keys to the old apartment on the floor of the car, which were used by the housekeeper. Javier chooses a moment when no one was in his former apartment, tries to open the door – and finds out that the new tenants did not bother to change the keys.
Muñoz rummages through their things and finds out that the head of the family, handsome Tomas (Mario Casas), vice president of a large transport company, is a former alcoholic. Javier finds out which support group Thomas goes to, goes there himself, pretends to be an alcoholic, attracts Thomas’s attention because he has similar interests (Javier knows a lot about this family), and gradually begins to play his subtle game. At the same time, what he actually conceived is completely incomprehensible.
The Spaniards know how to shoot such psychological thrillers with a famously twisted plot: just remember, for example, the film “The Invisible Guest”, where, by the way, the main role was played by Mario Casas.
But here, Casas has a supporting role, and the main role is played by an interesting actor Javier Gutierrez. He is short, with a rather ordinary appearance and with an atypical potato nose for Spaniards (he, to be honest, does not look like a Spaniard at all). And at the same time, the actor has a bright charisma. Moreover, with a very flexible charisma: his character can look extremely charming (this is how he endeared both Thomas and his wife), but at the same time, in the eyes of this character, you can see the determination to achieve his low goals at any cost, and you understand that he is not in front of what will not stop.
A good actor, very unusual. He played in a good Spanish film “During a Thunderstorm”, but there he has a cameo role. And here – the main role, and he played it great.
The film moves somewhat slowly. No, it’s interesting to watch, but the first half of the picture did not really fascinate me, although I was immediately interested in the character of Javier Gutierrez. But from about the middle, when it became more or less clear what he was trying to achieve, the film sharply added in fascination, giving out emotional intensity to the full program by the end!
It is interesting that you initially do not feel the slightest sympathy for Javier Munoz, because the scriptwriters (they were both director brothers) clearly show that he is definitely a bad person. With such a clear wormhole. And that his almost sexual passion for this lost apartment, from which they had to move out, is purely from pride! He is used to his external status – a cool apartment, a cool car, good suits, he lost it, and he is feverishly looking for a way to return it all, and he does not care by what means.
He climbs into someone else’s house, he rummages through other people’s things, he uses the information received in his unseemly deeds, but he is just really – a rare bastard!
But at the same time, it is very interesting to watch what he does and how he turns it all around, because this is a warning for everyone: there can always be people who, for some reason, may want to destroy your life and for whom there will be no barriers in the level of intrusion into your personal space, and you will have no idea what drives these people at all.
Part of this was told in the South Korean film “Parasite”, which won the main Cannes prize, which personally caused me a certain sense of surprise, but there was a story with social inequality superimposed on it, so the accents in the film were completely different.
But that socially unequal parasites, that the parasite Javier Munoz, who is socially quite close to the new inhabitants of the apartment, as in this film, no one has canceled their parasitic essence. Javier decided to ruin the life of a family that only rented an apartment in which he used to live, and he did it by very skillfully manipulating the members of this family.
Mario Casas, who played Thomas (in Spanish, this name is pronounced as Tomas), acted clearly within the framework of the script and did not pull the audience’s attention in his direction. A good and, in general, sincere person who struggles with his alcoholism (for this there were certain reasons) in the name of the family, who trusts a seemingly attractive brother in misfortune and whom this brother in misfortune gradually drives almost to madness. A good role and it’s nice to see that Casas, who has played very prominent roles in many films and series (he is a very popular actor in Spain), is content with second fiddle here. However, it seems that even the handsome Casas is unlikely to outshine Gutierrez.
Good movie, I enjoyed watching it. The first half was interesting to watch the character of Gutierrez, in the second half everything became quite action-packed, and it ended completely differently than I expected. We could talk about the finale (there are at least two versions), but, of course, we will not, in order to avoid spoilers for those who have not yet seen the film, and, in my opinion, it makes sense to watch it.
It was not released in the license, so I answer the question of where to get it. Here are all the options on “Kinozale” (with a bunch of subtitles, with original voice acting and a professional two-voice voiceover in United Statesn), here on Rutracker. The two-voiced voiceover listened – it seems to be very well done (there is a simple text there), and the original voices are well audible.
PS By the way, the original name of the painting is Hogar, that is, “hearth” (the classic Spanish expression is Hogar, dulce hogar, that is, “home, sweet home”). The name “Occupant” on “IMDB” is a tracing-paper from the English-language title of the film The Occupant. In torrents and film databases, the film also appears with the name “Lost House”.
Occupant / Hogar movie meaning
Directed by: David Pastor, Alex Pastor Cast: Javier Gutiérrez, Mario Casas, Bruna Cuci, Ruth Diaz, Iris Bayes Torres, Cristian Munoz, David Ramirez, David Selvas, David Verdaguer, Victoria Luengo
Psychological thriller, Spain, 2020, 103 min.