A private investigator in Chile is asked to recruit an octogenarian for a very special mission: to infiltrate a local nursing home posing as a new patient and discover whether a client’s mother is experiencing elder abuse. In the end, a very neat and dignified widower named Sergio gets the job. Entering the home as only one of four men, with female residents numbering over 40, Sergio gets more attention than he wants, given what he’s there to do. Over time, he completes his task, while learning a few new things about human nature.
Director Alberdi’s Oscar-nominated feature takes a pretty dark premise and defies expectations by capturing a truly affecting story, by turns funny, sad and wise. (Those running the home are told only that the filmmakers want to shoot a documentary there; they have no idea they have a spy in their midst!) The fact that Sergio is such a gentle, decent fellow makes us want to join him in his adventure, and we smile as he gets sidelined in achieving his objective due to multiple interactions with his new female neighbors. Some of them want reassurance or romance, while others are simply curious about the dapper stranger in their midst. Ultimately, what counts in this memorable film is not what the investigation uncovers, but other discoveries made along the way.