[Film review] The Mole Agent [El agente topo]

Answering an advertisement seeking a man between 80 and 90 years old, Sergio (Sergio Chamy) is enlisted by private detective Rómulo (Rómulo Aitken) to become an undercover agent in an aged-care facility.  In particular, Sergio is to find Sonia and investigate whether she is being properly cared for or is subject to abuse.

During his time in the facility, Sergio does indeed uncover the truth, not just for Sonia, but for all those he gets to know through his genuine tenderness, his tactful compassion, and his gentlemanly manners.

The revelations in this film are multifaceted, and show how life’s complexities don’t disappear with age but can in fact increase, as physical challenges mount and emotional needs lie unfulfilled in spite of the best efforts of strangers.  It quietly shows an often overlooked aspect of life for older people — it takes tremendous courage and stoicism to be old, to be lonely, to be set aside by those whom you love and you thought loved you.

But the film also shows the power of friendship, acceptance, good humour, hope, and wisdom.  And there is a lesson in it for all of us: we stand to lose a great deal when we close our lives to our elders.

Screening at Dendy and Palace cinemas from 17 June 2021.

— MICHELE E. HAWKINS

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