The Aura ***
"The Aura" is an addictive and engrossing crime thriller, and the last film by Fabián Bielinsky, who died suddenly shortly before this was released. It stems from Argentian roots, but can easily be remade here in the United States any day now-and with a story like this, something actually original and interesting, who can blame them. It's like that old adage which I first heard in a Woody Allen movie-Always strive for originality, but if you have to steal, steal from the best. Remaking "The Aura" would be stealing from the best.
"The Aura" begins with a fantasy, and the introduction to a taxidermist who is never referred to by name. The Taxidermist is hard at work, but that doesn't stop his mind from drifting to the notion of a perfect crime-a bank robbery. He knows exactly how it should be done, but never has the nerve to actually carry out his crime. And then everything changes. He is invited by a friend of his on a hunting trip which he hesitates before saying "yes." Once there, his friends sees that the taxidermist has a hard time shooting anything, and decides to abandon him in the woods without a way of getting home. While alone, the taxidermist takes a walk in the woods with the intention to kill an animal, and then accidentally shoots a man instead. From this point on, the taxidermists dreams of becoming part of a crime come true, as the man he killed was a part of an intricate and dense scheme involving a robbery at a casino. He takes the mans place and identity, and the nameless taxidermist finally becomes somebody he is not.
I can't say much more without ruining anything, because "The Aura" is something to see knowing very little background as possible. Watching the confused, and yet intrigued, taxidermist is interesting-he is dying to be a part of a crime for so long that when he does actually end up involved in one he realizes that it is not all its cracked up to be. This is a thrilling film, and something to look for. It's a shame that Fabián Bielinsky died, because his films are truly unique and original. I never saw his first film, "Nine Queens," but I did see the remake "Criminal." If "Nine Queens" is as fun and full of twists as "Criminal" was, then it probably demands to be seen as well. "The Aura" is better than any crime thriller in Hollywood.