Ana Brun, Margarita Irun, Ana Ivanova
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…an immersive drama… that never ceases to feel utterly real.
This Paraguayan gem is about the fortunes (or rather misfortunes) of a lesbian couple who’ve been together for thirty years. Though hitherto affluent, they’re now very seriously in debt and forced to literally sell off the family silver. Martina, known as Chiquita (Margarita Irun), seems to be by far the more ‘together’ and resourceful of the two, and also the happier and more positive – or at least the braver. This is notwithstanding the small point that she’s facing imminent imprisonment on a fraud charge (though keeping it a secret from all but a few friends). Chiquita’s partner Chela (Ana Brun) is on the other hand shy – but proud – and evidently chronically depressed.
Every performance here is pitch-perfect, right down to the most fleeting, but the central focus is on Chela, and Brun’s portrayal of her is a veritable tour de force and the epitome of both restraint and subtle evocation. Temporarily left to her own devices, Chela starts chauffeuring wealthy women around for money (despite having no driver’s license), and the plot – or at least the characterisation – thickens.
What might have declined into a predictable or trite saga of personal liberation becomes instead an immersive drama – with definite but understated elements of social and class commentary – that never ceases to feel utterly real.
The Heiresses is faultlessly played, down to the last mannerism and nuance. It’s a tense slow-burner with that rare virtue, a great ending. Absolutely superb.