Fully aware that she is going to jail for her actions, Sonia persists in having the documents printed and a deal between her and the company signed which will see the medicine released to her husband in return for her not publishing the evidence of malfeasance. A Monster with a Thousand Heads sets itself up as a conventional thriller, in its plot of the worm violently turning reminiscent of Falling Down (1993) or better still John Q (2002). But Plá is a meticulous and original director who is careful to tweak what is at times a slight story - adapted by Laura Santullo from her own novel - into something more intriguing. Time is out of joint and ellipses are strategically placed to heighten the tension. Apparently irrelevant characters are followed until they join our characters from a different angle - two teenage girls in a lift check their make up in the mirror and chat blithely unaware of the drama they will come across when the lift doors open.
Everyone is a potential witness and we are all participants (the thousand heads of the monster) to a society that treats the vulnerable unjustly, but it won't be that society which is on trial. Odei Zabaleta's camera frames Sonia in the margins of the screen, someone who needs to be holding a gun before she is noticed, or taken seriously. Raluy avoids the dangers of hysteria, playing her as a pragmatic fury who never loses her humanity. The squealing tires of a car descending the ramp of multi-story car park could easily be the sound of Sonia's pent up inner voice. There are a couple of moments of such implausibility that the whole film is at risk of becoming a parody, a lost sketch from Damián Szifrón's Wild Tales (2014). The film is not as complete as his debut La Zona (2007) but Plá's film is a caustic, genuine swipe at a selfish and insincere society which is content to make money from the suffering of ordinary people.
The 72nd Venice Film Festival takes place from 2-12 September 2015. For more coverage, follow this link.
John Bleasdale | @drjonty