Cuenta la historia que Juan José Campanella empezó en el cine como pasante/asistente de José Martínez Suárez y que pasado un tiempo, el ya veterano director le dijo al padre de Campanella que su padadawan ya no tenía más que aprender de él y que si quería vivir del cine lo mejor que podía hacer era irse a Hollywood. Varias décadas después, vuelto al país y convertido en un director de gran suceso y ganador de un Oscar de la Academia por El secreto de sus ojos, Campanella vuelve a la ficción con El cuento de las comadrejas, una remake-homenaje a Los muchachos de antes no usaban arsénico, de Martínez Suárez, su maestro Jedi.

Los muchachos de antes no usaban arsénico es es una joya algo escondida, que sufrió un poco en la época de su estreno, pero que a lo largo de los años cobró carácter de obra de culto. Aquella película reunía a estrellas del cine nacional clásico ya retirados o a punto de hacerlo y la gran Bárbara Mújica. El relato era un juego perverso en el que cuatro ancianos retirados en una mansión que esconden secretos acerca de los cuales ellos suelen hablar de manera misteriosa, se ven de amenazados por alguien que viene de afuera. Bárbara Mujica era la agente inmobiliaria joven que hacía tambalear el estilo de vida de los cuatro ancianos que tuvieron un pasado brillante en el cine. La película de Martínez Suárez quedó en la historia y todavía se la puede ver en algunas de las señales de cable que se dedican a recuperar joyas nacionales.

El elenco de esta nueva versión de aquella película está lejos de estar formado por actores retirados o a punto se hacerlo. El cuento de las comadrejas toma las partes más importantes de la original y le agrega algunos toques de época, pero el centro vuelve a ser el enfrentamiento generacional, los secretos que no se pueden contar, la amistad y los lazos enfermizos entre la gente.

Graciela Borges es Mara Ordaz, una estrella de la época de oro del cine nacional, sus películas son un patrimonio de los cinéfilos y vive en una mansión con una gran terreno a su alrededor con su marido, que además supo ser galán en las películas de Mara. Junto a ellos viven el director de aquellas películas y el guionista.

Los cuatro conviven de manera plácida en aquella mansión derrochando humor corrosivo y obsesiones personales. Pedro de Córdova (Luis Brandoni) es el marido paralítico de Mara, Norberto Imbert (Oscar Martínez) es el director retirado que vive cazando alimañas y que a la hora de presentarse aclara que él no sabe hacer nada: “Soy director”. El otro habitante de la casa es Martín Saravia (Marcos Mundstock), el guionista al que la película le reserva la mayoría de los remates algo que el Luthier sabe hacer a la perfección. A la mansión llegan dos jóvenes perdidos que buscan una dirección y que se asombran ante la presencia de Mara Ordaz, Bárbara Otamendi (la española Clara Lago) y Francisco Gourmand (Nicolás Francella) se presentan ante Mara y ella que vive encerrada, se deja halagar y también se deslumbra un poco con la presencia de un galán joven. Los otros habitantes de la casa miran con desconfianza y no se creen demasiado lo casual de aquella llegada. Rápidamente los jóvenes muestran sus intenciones y mientras Francisco endulza los oídos de Mara, su amiga la tienta con regresar al estrellato para lo que es indispensable mudarse a la ciudad. La chica trata de enredar a los tres ancianos con su encanto y su frescura.

Todo lo que Campanella ama del cine clásico aparece en pantalla, hay planos que remiten de manera directa a la Norma Desmond de Sunset Boulevard y otros momentos apelan a las comedias clásicas de la productora Ealing responsable de El quinteto de la muerte, entre otras.

Todo el elenco funciona de maravilla, desde Graciela Borges que ilumina realmente la pantalla en las escena, pasando por Oscar Martinez y Luis Brandoni, a los que Campanella les saca lo mejor hasta Clara Lago que saca el acento argentino a la perfección y que juega aparentemente con los tres ancianos como el gato maula con el mísero ratón.

A diferencia de la original, El cuento de las comadrejas es festiva y brillante, donde había algo sórdido y podrido ahora hay un juego teatral irónico y mordaz, y el siniestro enfrentamiento entre viejos y jóvenes de antaño, ahora parece un acto de justicia.

EL CUENTO DE LAS COMADREJAS
El cuento de las comadrejas. Argentina/España, 2019.
Dirección: Juan José Campanella. Intérpretes: Graciela Borges, Oscar Martínez, Luis Brandoni, Marcos Mundstock, Nicolás Francella y Clara Lago. Guión: Juan José Campanella y Darren Kloomok, basado en el original de Augusto Giustozzi y José Martínez Suárez. Fotografía: Félix Monti. Música: Emilio Kauderer. Distribuidora: BF París. Duración: 129 minutos.

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