What a pity to live in contemporaneity! For example, phone pranks don’t exist anymore. Or not like before. Take Lisa and Bart Simpson and their classic prank calls to Moe’s bar, which Moe always fell for while the Springfield blondies cracked up. In the age of cell phones and caller ID jokes Doctor Tangalanga would be impossible to do. And what happens in Argentina? Well, the matter is more difficult. It is that this nation is the birthplace of the greatest telephone prankster of all time. A prodigy who made his so-called true works of art and knowledge of human psychology, as well as landmarks of the “puteada” (or, as I would say Borgesof “the art of insulting”).
And that this Thursday it comes to the big screen to show its origins in the form of a charming romantic comedy. We are referring, of course, to the great Doctor Tangalanga (QEPD), whose birth into public (but secret) life is covered in the film The Tangalanga methodstarring Martin Piroyansky Y Juliet Zylberberg -in the midst of a team with great performances and the stellar collaboration of Silvio soldan– and the address of Matthew bendesky.
The year is 1962. This can be seen from the titles of the film, which record the birth of the decade showing a typical and modern Buenos Aires, with those old filleted buses and a local color that only the camera can express so well. Jorge Rizzi works as an employee in a soap factory, surrounded by an understanding boss (Luis Machin) and his outgoing friend Sixto, the best seller of any product. Rizzi, on the other hand, is ultra-shy and the situation of exhibiting in public hampers his expressive possibilities. He always does that. One night, after an episode of shyness in a bar, he walks and inadvertently arrives at the door of a room where they announce the presence of a wise man who cures all ills. He enters out of curiosity and the powers man (a splendid Silvio Soldan) makes him go to the curtain and, with the sound of the tuning fork, considers him cured.
The tuning fork marks the note from Rizzi’s phone line, who checks that it is not only healed, but that it is one, two or three steps further than necessary. He records a tape with one of his calls to show it to his friend Sixto, but he finds out about a condition that leaves him bedridden and with a poor prognosis. The tape makes Sixto laugh and he asks for more. The Tangalanga legend begins. Rizzi is caught by the clinic’s receptionist, Clara. But when she approaches him there is no sound of the tuning fork to awaken the hidden legend of him.
Run 1962. Julio Victor Di Rissio He is the son of Italian immigrants, works as a purchasing manager for the cleaning products company Palmolive (he recommended to Susana Gimenez as the face of a campaign for a product that made her famous). Julio was not shy, but, on the contrary, he was the joker in the classroom since he was a child. He was already married to his wife Nora, with whom they had known each other since they were children. A love that would exceed seven decades. And his best friend was Sixto, who had undergone a head operation that had left him unable to move except to speak. To make him laugh, Julio recorded a first tape playing a prank on a vet. Sixto was roaring with laughter. He recorded more tapes for him until his death in 1964. Thus began the Tangalanga legend.
The film takes some elements from reality to develop a beautiful plot, with a very present humor and the possibility of love with Clara as a narrative record that would have liked Nora Ephron to write. Clara’s lover (Raphael Ferro) is a villain from a movie and, of course, a businessman and owner of the clinic that hosts Sixto (his role played by alan sabbagh); and the role of louis rubio as Rizzi’s friend’s nurse.
When leaving the room, two options will feel present. Walking through the melancholic but happy Buenos Aires, after all, of the film, or searching the web for the recordings of the old and dear Tangalanga, who died in 2013. Whatever the decision, the film will have fulfilled its mission.
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“The Tangalanga method”, a beautiful romantic comedy to remember the greatest telephone prankster
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