A bank robber, a priest, an assassin, and a soldier bet everything they own on one game in celebrated Colombian director Juan Sebastian Valencia’s new melodramatic suspense “Poker,” which opened Friday in Colombian theaters nationwide.
The film opens with a tragedy – in which we see exactly how the game ends. Then Valencia, who wrote and directed the film, takes the audience back in time, exploring how each man arrived at that desperate moment at the private poker room in Bogota‘s Rio Casino.
In flashbacks, we see the moving stories of one man’s frantic attempt to secure his daughter’s future, another’s need to escape from a deadly debt, a third’s last-chance bid to keep his family together, and a final player’s yearning to reverse his impulsive lies.
“’Poker’ is a film for thinking,” said Valencia, “If people are distracted for a moment, they might miss some crucial scene.”
For Valencia, “Poker” will stand out as a departure from usual Colombian films, which too often center on the military or a hired killer’s race from Argentina to London.
According to El Espectador, the film, which stars Juan Sebastian Aragon, Rafael Novoa, Javier Ortiz and Luis Fernando Hoyos, is exclusively scored by the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia.