Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
With this year's Jewish International Festival underway, SWITCH has checked out the program - click here to read our reviews.x
review, The Goalkeeper, The, Goalkeeper, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Cristian Mercado, Fernando Arze, Pablo Echarri, Juan Carlos Aduviri, Luis Aduviri, Erika Andia, Freddy Chipana, Andrea Ibañez, Hugo Pozo, Wiler Vidauree, Rodrigo Patiño, Thriller




By Jess Fenton
24th September 2019

Former champion goalkeeper turned alcoholic bus driver Jorge Rivera (Fernando Arze) is fighting to save his dying son. Unable to pay for his son’s much-needed surgery Jorge turns to human trafficking to get the money he so desperately needs. But when Jorge’s circumstances change, his conscience gets the better of him and he tries to undo what he's done with horrible and unforeseen consequences.

For English-speaking audiences, this film is called ‘The Goalkeeper’, for the Spanish speakers it’s ‘Muralla’ a.k.a. ‘The Wall’ - the nickname Jorge garners during his soccer days. Either way, the soccer backstory has zero consequence on this tale except to perhaps muster some more sympathy in a "the higher they climb the further they fall" kind of way. Or perhaps it’s to raise interest in a film about a very important subject for the largely soccer-devoted part of the world - the covering vegetables in cheese approach to filmmaking and social education.


‘The Goalkeeper’ is a dark and powerful story told in a not-so-cohesive way. Filmmaker Gory Patiño uses a few different and exciting techniques such as actors wearing Steadycams during chase sequences, but never really commits to these flashes of style so they end up being jarring - and not in a good way - when they occasionally pop up. There's a real opportunity with this story to be gritty and raw, but Patiño never really seems to have the guts to pull it off.

Sex and drug trafficking films are not rare but the perspective Patiño showcases here is; it’s just that the payoff isn't what the story deserves. It’s not a satisfactory conclusion for character or plot, and there are too many random elements that detract from what could have been a great film. There is also a solid religious stream throughout the film, but for the uninitiated to Bolivia, this just adds to the confusion.

There's a real opportunity with this story to be gritty and raw but Patiño never seems to have the guts to really pull it off.

When I found out this was Bolivia's entry for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar from this past year, I was surprised. There are so many incredible foreign language films on offer, I couldn’t quite find the magic and brilliance that allowed ‘The Goalkeeper’ the make the shortlist. There’s too much plot to make this a character piece, and too much character to make it plot-driven. Nor is it balanced. This film only has two acts, needing a better middle to really hook the audience. And when the grim second half comes along, it’s difficult to follow it through and be okay with what Patiño has presented. I can see what he was going for, but it just needed more care to get there.

AKA: Muralla
RUN TIME: 1h 30m
CAST: Cristian Mercado
Fernando Arze
Pablo Echarri
Juan Carlos Aduviri
Luis Aduviri
Erika Andia
Freddy Chipana
Andrea Ibañez
Hugo Pozo
Wiler Vidauree
DIRECTOR: Rodrigo Patiño
WRITERS: Fernando Arze
Rodrigo Patiño
Fernanda Rossi
Camilla Urioste
SCORE: Juan Carlos Auza
Knives Out - The smart, star-packed whodunnit
TRENDINGWIN KNIVES OUTThe smart, star-packed whodunnit
Flack: Season 1 - Anna Paquin's darkly comedic drama
TRENDINGWIN FLACK: SEASON 1Anna Paquin's darkly comedic drama
Mrs Lowry & Son - Vanessa Redgrave & Timothy Spall's moving portrait of an artist
TRENDINGWIN MRS LOWRY & SONVanessa Redgrave & Timothy Spall's moving portrait of an artist
The Expanse: Season 3 - The terrifying next phase
TRENDINGWIN THE EXPANSE: SEASON 3The terrifying next phase
The Furies - A bloody well-executed gorefest
TRENDINGTHE FURIESA bloody well-executed gorefest
Suzi Q - Celebrating a female rock icon
TRENDINGSUZI QCelebrating a female rock icon
Vivarium - What makes a house a (horrific) home?
TRENDINGVIVARIUMWhat makes a house a (horrific) home?
Color Out of Space - A messy fusion of sci-fi, horror and comedy
TRENDINGCOLOR OUT OF SPACEA messy fusion of sci-fi, horror and comedy
God of the Piano - A tale that tickles the ivories
TRENDINGGOD OF THE PIANOA tale that tickles the ivories
Dark Place - An unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
TRENDINGDARK PLACEAn unsettling Indigenous horror anthology
The Operative - Finding the humanity in espionage
TRENDINGTHE OPERATIVEFinding the humanity in espionage
And Then We Danced - A passionate and remarkable classic in the making
TRENDINGAND THEN WE DANCEDA passionate and remarkable classic in the making
Stupid Young Heart - Irresponsible teens with no consequences
TRENDINGSTUPID YOUNG HEARTIrresponsible teens with no consequences
The Captain America Trilogy - The finest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come to 4K UHD
TRENDINGTHE CAPTAIN AMERICA TRILOGYThe finest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come to 4K UHD
NT Live: Fleabag - The birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
TRENDINGNT LIVE: FLEABAGThe birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
Judy & Punch - A dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
TRENDINGJUDY & PUNCHA dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
Bangla - A truly beautiful mess
TRENDINGBANGLAA truly beautiful mess
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
The Beach Bum - Mayhem with Matthew McConaughey
TRENDINGTHE BEACH BUMMayhem with Matthew McConaughey
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan - Close to home
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us