In the real world we can rarely express exactly how we feel. Generally we have to consider things like other people’s emotions, social propriety, or personal expedience before we go off running our mouths with the first thing that pops into our minds. But sometimes being overly considerate can take an unwanted emotional toll on our own psyches, especially when it involves letting other people walk all over you. It’s a balancing act of social filters and personal well-being that many people still can’t seem to grasp. For Chilean director Nicolás López, the answer to this conundrum was found in a mysterious Eastern acupuncture treatment that unleashes all of our unspoken vitriol upon the world in a hail of obscenities and mild violence.
Well, at least it struck him as a solid pretext for a commercial comedy entitled Sin filtro. The new feature’s premise is pretty straightforward: a nice, excessively passive woman beaten down by the world suddenly loses all of her filters and unleashes her fury on everyone from her husband and best friend, to petty thieves and call center employees. If it strikes you as the fortuitous encounter of Office Space and Liar, Liar, well, you’re probably on the right track. In fact, the film’s recipe has been so potent for Chilean audiences that the Sin filtro beat out Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the box office in its first weekend, despite the fact that it was playing on less than half the screens.
The film stars Chilewood A-Lister Paz Bascuñán as Pía Vargas, a woman dealing dutifully with a deadbeat husband, a demanding best friend, a shameless boss, and a world otherwise full of bloodsuckers and moochers. When said acupuncture treatment transforms her into an unhinged maniac, Pía must learn to strike that delicate balance between pleasing others and taking care of herself.
Bascuñán may be recognizable from her previous collaborations with López in the Qué pena… trilogy, but in just two weeks at the box office Sin filtro had already far surpassed the success of those films to enter the top 6 of highest-grossing Chilean films of all time. On the stylistic front, Sin filtro seems to follow a pretty formulaic Hollywood style, but is visibly slicker than López’s previous outing, perhaps thanks to a fat check from Netflix, who happened to finance the film.