In Tres escapularios, Colombian writer and director Felipe Aljure tells the story of Nico and Lorena, two sicarios hired to kill a former guerrilla member who facilitated the bombardment of a guerrilla camp by giving the government its location.
Tres escapularios follows the love/hate relationship of the two assassins as they travel from Santa Marta to Cartagena to fulfil their duty.
From the very beginning, we realise that Nico has a much stronger moral compass than his female counterpart. He doesn’t seem very confident or sure about the killing, unlike Lorena, who has a personal vendetta against the snitch and is driven by hate and anger.
These differences play an important role in the development of the story, showing us – through two very different points of view – what it takes to kill somebody. Lorena is a cold-blooded killer, shaped by years of violence, whereas Nico has never killed before.
Tres escapularios is ultimately a tale about revenge and the act of killing. A couple of scenes are dedicated to short monologues where the protagonists expose the motivations that led them to this path. Nico, for example, has a recurring scene where he sends videos to his ex-lover.
Though it is important to show the reasons behind their behaviour, the quality of the acting unfortunately falls short of the intensity of the story, causing the overall narrative to lose momentum. But the actors shine when the demands of the director are more physical than verbal. Both actors have a great rapport and their on-screen connection is undeniable.
Behind all the layers of violence, revenge and hate (which we have seen before in better movies), Tres escapularios turns out to be an interesting take on life. At the end of it all, what matters the most is life itself and moving on, even if getting there takes multiple killings.
Having said that, I do wonder whether the same outcome could have been achieved with a different story, perhaps a different tale that does not feel like a rerun of another movie.
Tres escapularios opens in theatres today!