Gigante : a film by Adrián Biniez

Gigante is a quaint Uruguayan film about a shy supermarket security guard in Montevideo. The guard, Jara, is kind of a gentle giant. He loves heavy metal music and playing video games with his nephew. He also gets insanely bored working the night shift at the supermarket. Quickly he becomes enamored with, as well as very protective of, a new overnight cleaner named Julia. From afar, he watches her and does things for her. When a supervisor admonishes Julia too forcefully, Jara—who’s watching the scene over the security cameras—urgently pages the supervisor to an empty dock in order to end the confrontation. Too shy to speak with Julia directly, Jara also begins to leave little presents for her and begins to follow her around outside of work: to the internet cafe, to the movies, even to her house.

I was a little worried when I first saw the trailer that the film was going to be overly disturbing—a voyeuristic security guard stalking a low-level cleaner. There is some element of that in the film; Jara oversteps the bounds of personal space and privacy at times. But it is really hard not to root for the guy. His heart is in the right place, and we get the sense that Julia just might be the right gal for him. Besides…we’ve all been too shy at some point in life to approach someone we really want to talk to, no?

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