Dull, leading a dull life, would-be lifer bank employee Morán (Daniel Eliás) decides he’s had enough. So he hatches a plan to steal just enough money from his employers to see him through his retirement. The unusual element is to give himself up, serve his sentence and pick up the money after.

Worked out to the last detail, a lot rests on co-worker Román (Esteban Bigliardi) who (luckily) agrees to look after the cash until he’s released when they will split it. Each having ample to live on for the rest of their lives. What neither counted on was the free-spirited Norma (Margarita Molfino).

Stretched out for over three hours The Delinquents is fabulous to look at with the images of the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires, the bleakness of the bank, set against the luminous mountain settings where much of the film plays out and, at different times, Román and Morán are entranced by Norma.

There are basically four stages to the film with the heist, Román’s trek out to the wilderness to stash the cash, Morán’s initial visit to case the area, and the denouement, though not quite in that order. Interspersed is the bank’s investigation into the robbery that piles pressure on Román, and Morán’s time in jail where he learns quickly about etiquette and pecking order.

It ambles along with discussions about life and its worth. Are they there to live to work or work to live? Is the boredom of their lives more to do with the staleness of their jobs that the city itself? But it’s not the same for everyone Del Toro (German De Silva) the bank manager seems happy enough after 55 years service, or has he been institutionalised?

It’s all very well done by writer and director Rodrigo Moreno. The characters well rounded for the actors to work with. All of whom do a fine job though other than Norma they aren’t that interesting.

However once the heist is done the film tends to meander and then limp towards an unsatisfactory ending. Its not that things are left hanging as its fairly obvious how the whole thing will pan out. Just that it feels so uninspiring, leaving the viewer to wonder, ‘well so what?’ about any of the preceding three hours.

The Delinquents will be in UK and Irish cinemas from 22 March 2024.