When Angels Sleep is the kind of movie that makes anyone sit on the edge of the chair, nervous and eager to figure out what will happen next. The way the story is told allows us viewers to have the same reactions as the protagonist in the story, who runs desperately to try to prove his innocence to a person who does not believe in a comma of his justification (watch here).
It is the kind of film that shows a relatively ordinary person, who needs to accomplish a task, but who in the middle of the road takes a detour in his route that leads him to an increasingly complex and appalling situation. Speaking like this, When Angels Sleep seems like a perfect movie. And it could be, were it not for its script mistakes that end up making the movie fall short, especially in its final section.
The main character in When Angels Sleep is German, a workaholic guy who finds in stress his energy source. He’s a guy completely dominated by worries, problems, and tendencies to be an irritated guy. On the day of his daughter’s birthday, he is more than 300 miles away from home, traveling to work. To get back, he has to drive through the night, and that’s where things start to happen: he sleeps at the wheel, accidentally running over a woman. The only witness is another girl, who was along with the one who was run over. She firmly believes that German wanted to kill the two, and runs away from him, looking for the police. Therefore, German must find her and convince her that it was an accident, while some parallel situations occur outside his control.
The movie takes place in just one night in the life of German, and in that sense it is well produced. Merits for director Gonzalo Bendala, who manages to maintain an atmosphere of pressure even in such a limited space of time in the story. Another one who does a phenomenal job is the actor who plays German, Julian Villagran. He passes on the feeling of being a man oblivious to everything that happens around him, thinking exclusively of work and not having time to have a stable and lasting family relationship. His wife treats him badly, his daughter seems to feel his abandonment, while he only thinks of solving the problems that arise in the company where he works. The night he sleeps at the wheel is the worst of his life, where he has to face dangers he never imagined. These feelings would only be possible to be transmitted with a good caliber actor, and it is the case: Villagran swallows the role and delivers an excellent performance.
Unfortunately, not everything is a bed of roses in When Angels Sleep. Despite the hypnotizing premise, the script commits silly faults when transforming its supporting characters into mere pieces to compose the environment. They are all one-dimensional, especially those who should have greater force in the film: the cops. The suspension of disbelief, so important for us to delve into the story of a film, disappears when we fail to understand the futile attitudes of the cops in it, in which they would play a decisive role.
Apart from these flaws, which affect the film in its final part, When Angels Sleep is indicated for those who like suspense and tension, since there is no denying that it can achieve those goals with ease. It is a heavy film, but it keeps the audience interested in the fate of this ordinary man, who lives an extraordinary situation that he never thought could happen to him.
Synopsis 1: The bumped shocked him awake. Then he realized he was in the driver’s seat of his car – and that bum was a human being.
Synopsis 2: After a businessman falls asleep at the wheel and hits a woman with his car, his interactions with her scared friend unleash a string of dark events.
Age rating: 16;