Oldenburg At 70 minutes, “The Longest Night” is hardly long, but it is certainly not easy to watch this brilliant, riveting, but brutal thriller about an Argentinian man who raped at least 93 women between 1985 and 2004. His ability to do this virtually undetected – until a victim turned into an activist and demanded justice – had much to do with a chauvinist society, but also with his cold hearted, brutal efficiency when taking his victims to abandoned buildings.
This becomes clear early in the film, when director Moroco Colman employs the unusual, but rather effective trick of showing one abduction and then seamlessly going into the next one, letting us experience the start of many of this brutal crimes, but dread what we know is yet to come: their conclusions.
He is greatly helped by the amazing Daniel Araoz who – as the film’s protagonist – presents us with the honest portrayal of a person we desperately hope could not exist in a civilized world, but privately have to admit that he probably does. Aroaz portrays this human abomination without once asking for our sympathy, but also manages to convey his humanity. This man was, actually is, real. These crimes were committed because society preferred to look away.
With “The Longest Night”, director Colman has delivered a gutsy (or gut-wrenching) thriller and taken many chances that lesser directors would rather avoid, especially by making it aesthetically pleasing, with images that recall the glossy style of David Fincher’s early films. Paradoxically, this does not take away from the gruesome subject matter. On the contrary: it highlights the brutality of the crimes, using the cinematic image to capture and keep our attention in moments when we would much rather look away.
As hard as “The Longest Night” is to endure, it is even harder to forget. A small masterpiece.