Despite being one of the smallest countries in South America, Uruguay has produced some of the most acclaimed Latin American films of the past decade. Gigante is no exception. Adrián Biniez, a first-time director, has created a romantic comedy unlike any you’ve seen before. He has taken the often formulaic and cheesy genre and completely transformed it. With it’s subdued humor, melancholic pace, and minimalist dialogue Gigante is like the emo cousin of the Meg Ryan/Jennifer Aniston romantic comedies you are used to.
Jara is a shy and socially awkward security guard who works at Gigante — the Latin American equivalent of Walmart — and is into heavy metal. His life is pretty boring. He doesn’t do much but work, eat, watch TV, lift weights, and play video games with his nephew. At work he sits in a dark and dingy room and alternates between staring at a small black and white screen and napping. Until one day while clicking through the different security cameras he discovers Julia, a cleaner, who he quickly becomes obsessed with.
Sadly, he is paralyzed by his shyness and can’t even bring himself to talk to her. But, he slowly gets to know her by watching her every move on the security cameras. Eventually, the security footage isn’t enough and he starts to follow her around. He follows her to an internet cafe, to the movie theater, and even on a date. It’s pretty pathetic. But despite the fact that he’s kind of an oaf and basically a stalker somehow you end up rooting for him because it becomes apparent that at his core, he’s really just lonely. Gigante is an ode to the awkward and shy. It’s a movie that requires patience but it’s worth a look.
Director: Adrián Biniez
Country: Uruguay, Argentina