Heroic Losers (2019) Review – Being a Fool isn’t so Bad


A fool is a person who is naive or stupid or crack head, that is what a dictionary would say, but in real life, the working class, the people who follow the rules without questioning are the ones synonymous to this word. And thus, the film, Heroic Losers starts with a hard hitting line and an explosive visual, which without missing a beat, tells you that it is about a group of misfits who are going to do something, they would have never imagined.

Directed by Sebastian Borensztein, Heroic Losers is a tale about an assembled group of amateurs who plan a heist to get their money back from a legal person, who robbed them legally. The story is inspired by Argentina’s devastating early-2000s financial crisis, where the banks fail to return the money of its depositors. One of the depositors in the bank is our main protagonist who wishes to open a Cooperative Society for farm goods, in order to create a source of income, of his devastated and ignored homeland.

The Story

Heroic Losers begins with a dream, contemplated by Fermin (Darín), a retired soccer hero who wishes to bring back livelihood in forsaken forgotten hometown in the Buenos Aires province. Fermin and wife  (Verónica Llinás) aims to convert the shut abandoned factory into a cooperative granary that would employ more than 50 local people, giving them livelihood. But what they lack is capital. To accumulate the capital required to start the venture, they pool small investments from friends in town, mostly unemployed, to start a business together. However, after a great hustle, they still lack a considerable amount of capital and thus Fermin, as suggested by the bank manager, deposits the accumulated cash in the bank, to get a loan sanctioned.

Little does Fermin know that the next day, Argentina’s Great Depression will plunge in, and all borrowed capital would go down the drain due to government inefficiency.

After a severe loss of finances, life and hope, Fermin gets to know about a slick lawyer named Manzi (Andrés Parra) who took out all the cash from the same bank, a day before the depression and has much likely stored in a highly secured underground vault, because banks aren’t trustworthy enough. Fermin and Company learn of the vault’s whereabouts, and quickly coin a plan to raid it, but as said, they are a only a bunch of misfits and how they are going to accomplish an heist, is what the story follows, in a very explosively interesting way. Yes, the blow up (pun intended) is spellbinding.

Being a Fool isn’t so Bad

Much of the story of Heroic Losers, along with it’s title, triumphs the underdog group of Fermin and his friends, the beloved misfits. These misfits, or often called as Fools in the film provide emotional support to Fermin and justify the popular notion, why friends are so important in one’s life. The narrative provides a proper graph of these characters, who in the beginning are cautious cynics, who later turn out to pull up their sleeves and commit the unexpectable. Thus, in brief, it is their journey from being losers to Heroes, just by taking destiny in their own hands.

Fermin even quotes, “One day when the abuse of fools turns into a real kick in the balls, when they had enough.” This is where, we get to know that the underdog has finally surpassed his own doubts and fear and advanced on a journey of being a Hero.

Fermin ends the film on the lines, “Being a fool isn’t bad, because these are the people who learned to get back up over and over again and never give up. Never.

Hence, the change in the attitude of Fermin’s word, we can trace the whole of his character transformation and it is a kind of feeling, which only misfits and rebels would be able to cherish, or rave about.

On writing level, the film has a mention-able take in it’s scene play, where the minor details are plotted so neatly that the viewers are bound to notice them and connect the dots instantly without much labor. Some might say, it is an easy writing, but for a normal audience, it is an epitome of clever writing. 

Heroic Losers is thrilling, gripping and interesting due to it’s characters who make the-previously-seen-kind-of-story inherently tickling and intriguing. It is a take on subtle revenge without digging deep into dark secrets, conspiracies or even official police investigations. Thus, it is an easy tale, told without hassle and that gives out a vibe of a feel-good film in the end, because people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Heroic Losers is an Argentine heist film co-written and directed by Sebastián Borensztein, based on the novel La noche de la Usina (The Night of the Heroic Losers). It isn’t available online.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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