A comedy of awful errors and even worse people, Crime Wave stumbles sparingly and when it finds it’s feet it lands.

Commencing with the death of Leyre’s (Maribel Verdu) ex-husband at the hands of her teenage son, thus begins a series of endeavours by many to both obfuscate and take advantage of this short-lived character’s disappearance. With his business accomplices, the police and her son’s best and only friend entering the fray, things of course escalate.

A well-worn non-linear flash-forward together with a tried narration technique is the only very misguided creative direction deployed as things macabrely grow ever-worse for Leyre. The evolving chaos and even conclusion, granted occurring within the decided absurdist nature of the whole proceedings, is comparably and refreshingly sensical; well-serving a film such as this that leans so heavily on it’s denouement.

The sub-plot of Leyre’s son’s best mate, aware of the crime and hopelessly forlorn in his never-abating attempts to woo Leyre, emerges among the film’s strands as one of it’s most memorable and humorous. Leyre’s dealings with her own son following the crime a dark parable for the difficulties she and many experience raising a teenager, his seeming nonchalance for the act hoists much of the exasperation and efforts to cover it up on her shoulders.

With Verdu’s excellent performance carrying so much of the film, hilarious and in a heartbeat duly dramatic as the role numerously demanded, the character of the investigating Officer is comparatively handled with less dexterity. Diverting from the main plot for stretches to focus on the figure’s very underdeveloped story-line, the most significant action this character undertakes while intendedly tragicomic is simply too vexatious nigh tragic to resonate within the manifestly mixed tone set by this film.

Bluntly pulling us out of the lighter fixtures which Crime Wave pursues and largely delivers, it’s an odd moment of blithe disparateness in an otherwise considered and enjoyable flick.

Crime Wave is screening as part of the Spanish Film Festival in Australia

on Falkenscreen