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At one point in the film, directed by Álvaro Fernández Armero, the protagonist is asked if he is Basque, right after stating that he comes from the north of Spain. He replies that no, that he is "from the good North." To situate ourselves, the one who responds, played by Julián López, is a golf teacher in a town in Cantabria that goes by the name of Pelayos and there is not a centimeter of his clothing that does not show the reddish color (yes, it is already a color) in the form of a belt, bracelet, print, hem or, if necessary, flag-cape even. This, in effect, is the tone and, while we're at it, the bullseye.

The gamble is, to say the least, risky. We won't say reckless, although, given what we saw in Ferraz, it's starting to be so. It was already the idea that animated the film (or the saga in spite of itself) devised by Borja Cobeaga and Diego San José under the direction of Emilio Martínez-Lázaro, of which this more than a continuation or sequel is nothing more than simple, somewhat cheeky and very opportunistic 'nosesabequé'. At that time, it was a matter of playing with regional or national archetypes (according to the commitment to the statute of autonomy) in a way that was at once tongue-tied, irreverent and cheerfully profane, but in a way, let's say, transversal. We were all alluded to in some way. At that time (the first installment dates back to 2014), the ideological trenches were barely a span long and the distance between the offensive joke and the white and inane joke (known as 'do-gooder' in the most combative circles) was wide. That is no longer the case. Now it is not that the margin has narrowed, which it has also been, but that the chaos is such that it is common to be offended by censorship that does not censure those who censure us. It's like that. How we've changed!

That being the case, and to put it simply, 'Ocho apellidos marroquís' laughs at the Spanish right. Or so he pretends. It can be disguised and claimed that, in truth, the object of comedy is the class prejudices associated with privilege, the wealth tax, tradition or class. But that, in addition to lengthening the sentence unnecessarily, is ridiculous. The film now signed by Álvaro Fernández Armero, and with not a single one of the actors of the highest grossing films in Spanish cinema in the cast, what it mocks is a good part of the 'tics' ritualized by people classified as posh. He could have done it from, for example, the 'perroflautas', but no, he has chosen the 'rojigualdos', which, as we said, is not only a colour, but a skin colour.

In truth, and before we get into the comments, this is an option as valid (or not) as any other. In principle, everyone should have the right to laugh at everything. In fact, it should be an obligation. The problem is the how, not the what. And it is here that 'Eight Moroccan Surnames' without being shipwrecked, does not reach port as it should. The idea is to be funny, but without hurting; To scratch the conscience, but without making blood. That is to say, as the commercial product (yes, product before film) that it is, in its ideology is to please everyone. And that, given the time and place, is now completely impossible. And of course, without being what it wants to be, it does not become what it could have been. I don't know if this last sentence makes sense.

The story of an inheritance is told. A wealthy cannery (Antonio Resines) dies and leaves his family the factory and, surprise, a daughter in Morocco (María Ramos). The widow (Elena Irureta), the daughter (Michelle Jenner) and Julián López will play the role of someone's boyfriend (it's not clear who owns until the end). What follows is a romantic comedy embellished with a more or less uninterrupted succession of jokes about 'favests', couscous and moccasins. Some, to be honest, are good (like that madly pagan who confuses mosques and kebabs) and this is where the hand of screenwriter Daniel Castro shines. But, no matter how condescending we are, it is impossible to avoid the most notorious thing for the duration of the film: the feeling of fear, the extreme care to the point of stiffness of a comedy that, definitely, does not dare. Pity.

Of course, it has been proven that red-and-white is a color. Vest and leather.


Directed by: Álvaro Fernández Armero. Cast: Julián López, Michelle Jenner, María Ramos, Elena Irureta. Running time: 97 minutes. Nationality: Spain (of course).

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