Film Review: EL ULTIMO TRAJE (THE LAST SUIT) (Argentina/Spain 2017) ***

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El último traje Poster
Abraham Bursztein, an 88 year-old Jewish tailor, runs away from Buenos Aires to Poland, where he proposes to find a friend who saved him from certain death at the end of World War II. After…See full summary »

Director:

Pablo Solarz

Writer:

Pablo Solarz

 

When Hollywood makes a movie about old people, they normally turn out to be old fart fantasies where old people live forever (COCOON), win some competition (FINDING YOUR FEET) or find love again.  Often the actors playing the old farts try to outdo each other in looks and cosmetic get-up so much so that watching these movies have become so cliched.  In this Argentine/Spanish co-production about an 88-year old man, the subject is not the  search for the fountain of youth.  Abraham Borsztein runs away from his home in Buenos Aires for survival.  His daughters not only want to put him in a nursing home but amputate his and leg.  Armed with the little money that he has managed to save, he bolts for dear life off to Poland.

Why Poland?  Apparently some guy there had saved him from certain death at the end of World War II.   Abraham has made a promise to bring him a suit (THE LAST SUIT of the film title) and he aims to keep that promise.

The journey does not run as smooth as expected.  Abraham misses his train and gets his money stolen.  But the adventure has only begun.  He meets Maria (Angela Molina) who also has a few dreams of her own.

Director Solarz has his audience sympathize with Abraham.  The camera is not shy to reveal an awful looking bad leg, all white in colour and might in need to be amputated to prevent the poison from spreading throughout he body.  Details are not mentioned.

THE LAST SUIT is a nicely made (pardon the pun) film that may be described as a coming-of-age story of a senior 88-year old man.  His journey of escape and fear for his last days is a real one for many seniors who cannot help themselves but fall to the mercy of their sometimes uncaring and insensitive children.  One thing Abraham still has are his wits.  He is sharp as can be.

The story also reveals that there is some good in man.  The rude musician that Abraham first meets on the plane who first has his feet upon the chair turns out to be a really kind man after Abraham reluctantly helps him at customs.

THE LAST SUIT would be a film that targets the older demographic.  The film’s pace suits an elderly crowd as its good intentions.  It is a good natured as many of the characters Abraham meets during his journey.

Despite its lightness in tone, THE LAST SUIT gets serious at the end, with a message that replaces a climax.  Abraham searches for the friend that saved his life, mainly through his memories.  Through flashbacks, the audience is brought back to the war and the injustice committed against the Jews.  The film offers redemption in the form of a very kindly Germany lady that Abraham meet who helps him along the way.  Though this is enlightening, the audience is manipulated in a way.

The film brings the thought that without memories, nothing else matters.  One feels sadder for those with dementia and have nothing else when they reach that demise.  THE LAST SUIT ends up a sad film about old age, but at least it is a realistic one about certain hardship that seniors can never escape.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLZVMgJoo-k

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