The Mole Agent
Going undercover in a retirement home? You can only pull that off it you look the part of a believable mole. Romulo, a private detective who needs a convincing mole to go undercover in a retirement home, holds auditions and this seems to be an impossible feat. Romulo’s client, the concerned daughter of one of the inhabitants, suspects her mother is being treated horribly, so she hires the detective to find out what is going on. Sergio is the only Chilean spy who passes the casting session. But Sergio is 83, not 007, and he finds it difficult to work with current-day technology and spy techniques. But he is however someone who has his heart in the right place, and for him this spy-mission is the perfect distraction from his wife’s passing. Sergio is gathering information in inventive ways, but also grows closer to the inhabitants of the retirement home. He discovers he can rely on his gut feeling and that he can gain the inhabitants’ trust by listening to them.
Maite Alberdi brings the stylistic devices of film noir convincingly; however, Sergio is not made for the detective-job. The first obstacle is a heap of technology (like pen cameras and smartphones) he will need to gather evidence and report back to Romulo. The hilariously dry undertone stays, but the story shifts from a detective story to something more intimate. Alberdi gives us an original view of affection and solitude at an old age. The Mole Agent is a documentary that surprisingly found the balance between absurdism and tenderness. It is an evolving documentary and it takes you on a slow ride of reflection on solitude amongst the elderly. A smashing testimony that sounds like a universal cry for help.
The typical hilariously dry undertone stays, and she gives us a warm, sympathetic view on the solitude at an old age. A film that proves that talking about nothing can mean a whole lot.