Winner of the best screenplay award for Director Rodrigo Grande, Cuestion de Principios (A Matter of Principles), is an audience pleasing film from start to finish.
Adalberto Castilla (Federico Luppi) is a man of great principles. He prides himself on how he lives his life and his clear conscience. When his new younger boss, Silva (Pablo Echarri), discovers Adalberto has the final magazine he needs to complete a collection he will stop at nothing to convince Adalberto to cast aside his high morals to sell it to him. The reason the sale is of such consequence to Adalberto is that the magazine contains a picture of his father and to him, considered a family treasure. Even Adalberto’s wife, Sarita (Norma Aleandro), pleads of him to sell the magazine so she may send their adopted son on a soccer trip, buy a new car, and redecorate their apartment. To her it is a means at a better life, not an act of forsaking one’s principles. Adalberto faces an incredibly difficult decision on whether to stand true to his beliefs that not everything has a price or to give in to the tempting prospect of selling the magazine for the spoils the money may bring.
As heavy a subject matter as Cuestion de Principios may present it does so with the most splendid amount of humor it is impossible to not enjoy Adalberto’s struggle immensely. His character is a simple man with simple tastes and desires. He is humble, a man of his word, and always responsible in his choices. The temptation Silva brings upon him causes such distress we see his structured world begin to crumble. Adalberto is not a humorous character on purpose, but the predicaments the story puts before him present great amounts of comedy for the viewer. Buried inside of this comedic tale is also a strong voice on what it means to believe in something and hold true to your belief. Through all of the fabulous twists and turns the story provides it is the outstanding performances and well adjusted, as well as developed, characters that keep you engrossed. Cuestion de Principios is one of those rare triumphs in filmmaking where everything fits together seamlessly and you have not only been entertained but touched as the film draws to a close.