It was this black-humored, cynical crime drama about money laundering during the rule of the military junta in Uruguay and the Oscar nominee there, and screenwriter and director Federico Veiroi filmed “Asi hablo el cambista” based on Juan Gruber’s book of the same name. We meet the main (anti) hero Humbert Brause (Daniel Hendler), an accountant and money launderer for various obscure types not only from Uruguay, but also from Argentina and Brazil, in the mid-1970s when he was already embroiled in some dangerous schemes. Then, as a narrator, he takes us back twenty years, to the time when a prominent accountant of German origin, whose daughter Gudrun (Dolores Fonzi) soon married him, took him under his wing and taught him the secrets of the craft.
This somewhat slimy and insecure Humberto will very quickly use the acquired knowledge, but also the political and economic situation in the country and will start hiding money and taking it out of the country for political elites, and then his services will become in demand in the surrounding countries. But as the sixties and seventies in South America were extremely dangerous, uncertain years, of course he would get into business with some extremely dangerous types as well. His main task is actually buying and selling foreign exchange and taking advantage of the ongoing economic crises in and around Uruguay, and he tries this actually disliked guy who likes to pretend to be a respectable member of society to lead a high life like most people he works for.
But it quickly becomes clear to us that he is not doing well and that he is constantly under stress, that he is bitter and angry with himself because he knows that what he is doing is bad and dangerous and that he is constantly getting into dangerous situations. But it’s just like he can’t help himself. Over time, he will become more and more paranoid, and the relationship between him and the woman who only seems to know who he really is and constantly punishes him for it is interesting. While it was solid, I have a feeling that something more could have been drawn from this interesting story and that the character of Brause had the potential to drag him into even worse situations.