For Noirvember’s WORLD CINEMA, we travel all the way to Mexico for a dose of clairvoyance and melodrama, with En La Palma De Tu Mano (In the Palm of Your Hand), a Roberto Gavaldón film noir from their own Golden Age.
Arturo de Córdova plays Jaime Karin, a clairvoyant and scam artist who uses his girlfriend Clara (Carmen Montejo) to get the gossip about everyone in town so he can use it to his advantage. When he learns that the wealthy Vittorio Romano has died, he befriends his widow Ada (Leticia Palma) and… you can guess how this goes.
In the Palm of Your Hand is a crisp-looking melodrama, with a suave and charming protagonist, a scheming femme fatale and a very, very tragic ending. Though not entirely unpredictable, it is still incredibly enjoyable nonetheless, with quite a few moments that just scream film noir. The scene in which Karin and Ada are stopped by the police, in particular, just gets more and more tense as it goes on and it is probably the best moment in the whole film – massive Decoy (1946) vibes! Karin’s friendship with an illiterate old woman whose son is in the military is used as a way of showing his caring side, a really nice touch which proves to be effective as we end up sort of sympathizing with him. Towards the end of the film, he has reached his limit and realizes he must pay for what he’s done and we certainly feel for him. Film noir is filled with these morally ambiguous characters and Karin is right up there with the rest of them.
Long considered to be one of Mexico’s greatest ever films noir, In the Palm of Your Hand won the Ariel Award for *takes deep breath* Best Picture, Director, Actor, Original Story (Luis Spota), Cinematography, Editing, Sound and Set Design. Not bad, huh? #Noirvember