Nobody Knows Anything (1999)

Rating: B

Dir: Mateo Gil
Star: Eduardo Noriega, Jordi Mollà, Natalia Verbeke, Paz Vega
a.k.a. Nadie Conoce a Nadie

This solidly weird, psychological thriller has Noriega as Simon, a crossword compiler for a Seville newspaper, who gets a threatening phone message, ordering him to use a certain word in a certain day’s puzzle. He does, but the day marks the start of a terror campaign aimed at religious targets during Holy Week. Simon becomes involved, trying to unravel things with the help of a fellow reporter (Verbeke); and what’s room-mate Toad’s (Mollà) connection? The answers are not what you may think – though it’s probably true to say that, as with almost all paranoia flicks, the questions remain more entertaining than the resolution.

However, along the way are more than enough bumps to keep the viewer interested – the best of these comes after Simon has hacked into Toad’s computer. At almost the same time, both he and we realise with horror what he’s triggered, a rare moment of absolute empathy with a character. The romantic angles don’t convince as they should, perhaps because, for a hero, Noriega comes across a little on the bland side. On the other hand, this apparent shortfall may simply be in comparison to Toad, whom Mollà brings to life and imbues with a lunatic menace; it’s easy to believe him capable of anything. While we wait for the arrival of next year’s Da Vinci Code movie, this will fill in perfectly well.