The film I Don’t Expect Anyone to Believe Me, puts the audiences in a dilemma as to whether it is a real-life incident or just a work of fiction. Juan Pablo Villalobos, the Mexican author, is the protagonist in his own autobiographical fiction novel. The story centers around a Ph.D. candidate who travels from Mexico to Barcelona to complete his thesis paper and gets tangled up with a dangerous drug racket. The film stars actors like Natalia Solian, Anna Castillo, Dario Yazbek Bernal, and others. The life-like narration of Juan Pablo puts us in a catch-22 situation, as we keep wondering if the incidents are real or fictional. He has explored real-life issues in his other novels, like ‘The Other Side’, where he has highlighted the issue of illegal immigration. Nonetheless, coming back to I Don’t Expect Anyone to Believe Me, will the protagonist be able to survive the harsh situations in Barcelona? Let’s find out!
What Incident Changes Juan Pablo’s Life?
Juan Pablo is a Ph.D. candidate who dreams of pursuing his academic career and writing a novel. All his dreams are thwarted by the criminal group that makes him a target, after his cousin, Lorenzo, loses a lot of their money. Lorenzo is shot right in front of his eyes, which makes him realize that the group could harm anyone at any time that they wanted. His personal and love lives are ruined by the intervention of the mafia. He is threatened by the group, asking him to take his girlfriend, Valentina, along with him to Barcelona. After reaching there, he becomes a mere puppet in the hands of an underboss called, The Lawyer, who has been hired by someone called Chucky. Meanwhile, Juan’s erratic behavior had created distance between him and his girlfriend. Pablo’s life is constantly being monitored by the mafia, and they are always threatening him and telling him that they will harm his parents and girlfriend if he does not listen to them. When he says that he will go to the police for protection, he is told that the police are on their side and will not listen to his stories.
Why Is He Asked To Pursue Laia?
Juan Pablo was set up on a mission to win over Laia Carbonell’s interest, who was also a student under the same Ph.D. guide as him. He was given the task of getting her sexually involved and keeping a close track so that they could reach out to her uncle, Oriol, also known as Orri. Pablo, while trying to strike a friendship with her, learns that she is a lesbian, and that is when he is asked to get his girlfriend involved with Laia. This is the point when things start getting clear to us as to why he had been instructed to bring Valentina along with him to Barcelona. He later uses Valentina, without her knowledge, to lure Laia into developing a strong friendship with him. He is later instructed by the lawyer to tell Laia that his godfather had arrived from Mexico and was a very close friend of her uncle, Orri. In reality, he wanted to set up a meeting with Orri so that he could discuss dumping billions of black money from the cartel to Catalan. He needed Orri’s help as he was an influential politician in Catalan. Later, Pablo gets into greater trouble for having pursued Laia, as the judge understands that Pablo was being followed by Valentina’s friend Jimi, a gypsy guy, as Valentina thought that their distance had grown because of Laia. The lawyer was scared and thought that his breaking up with Valentina could put them in danger.
What Role Did Valentina Play?
Valentina goes over to their old apartment to babysit Facundo’s daughter and finds Pablo’s laptop there. She gets the draft of the novel that Pablo was writing and understands that he was basically jotting down all the incidents that he was facing in Barcelona. She has a gut feeling that the novel is not merely fictitious but is a summary of real-life events. She changes a part of the draft where it is mentioned that Pablo murdered a detective for the gang. She also finds a video of Lorenzo on his laptop, where he says how dangerous the people of the drug cartel were and that they were after his life. He said that they wanted to have a business deal with Orri, who was a very powerful politician in Catalan. He also says that they wanted to get to Orri by getting the whereabouts of his niece, Laia. Pablo’s irrational behavior and the distance between them are now made clear to Valentina. She takes Pablo’s draft to an officer, tells her that she believes that the events were real, and requests that she investigate the case. This eventually leads to something very disastrous, as the big guys want to cover up their mess.
What Happens In The End?
We see Pablo going up to the lawyer and telling him that some of his associates were trying to trip him over and hand his position to someone else. He says that Ahmed, one of the members of the gang, had stated that he was not fit to hold the position of the boss and thought that Chucky wanted to replace him. The lawyer thinks that Pablo is trying to lie and break the unity of the cartel, which makes him kill Pablo. This highlights the triviality of the life of a human to the mafia gangs. Meanwhile, the lawyer’s men keep an eye on Valentina as well and get her kidnapped after she hands over Pablo’s draft to the officer. She is never to be found again! Pablo’s unfinished draft never gets published but the officer tries telling Pablo’s mother about his son’s story. She later throws the incomplete draft in the dustbin, which is picked up by a vagrant. The officer had lost her job, as she had tried investigating the case after Pablo and Valentina’s murders. This proves that the criminal web of the group was so large that it could engulf anyone they wanted to.
The film was quite entertaining, as there were sharp and unexpected turns that the characters took. There were a lot of deaths in the film, bringing to light the insignificance of the value of one’s life to the mafia groups. They think that they are invincible and can get away with even a gruesome crime like murder. The protagonist has been made to look like quite an ordinary individual and not a greater-than-life character! Despite no fault of his, he could not survive the ruthlessness of the mafia group and was wiped off the face of the earth within a fragment of a second. The film is replete with tragi-comedy, which is an ingenious way of highlighting the intentions of the characters throughout the film. The societal issue that revolves around the mafia gangs that function openly with the help of legal personnel has also been highlighted here. The satires and social criticisms are elements that Juan Paulo almost never forgets to put into his novels. This film is undoubtedly one of the masterpieces of the year, with absolutely no scope for ambiguity!