There is no need to recount the storyline; others have done that very well. The most revealing new comment I can add is that seeing this film on Sundance caused me to go out and buy not only the DVD, but my first DVD player as well. While the DVD is not up to the technical quality I expected, the production itself retains high values in terms of script, direction, and execution. It is the kind of film I start to watch thinking, "I'll just fast forward to all the high points once more," but wind up transfixed watching from bitter beginning to bitter end. Truly a masterpiece.
I also bought the book that inspired the film. Because it has yet to be translated into English, I had to keep the dictionary nearby to augment my meager Spanish, and I found the book written stylistically very much in the vein of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. Comparisons to films like Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise, or Reservoir Dogs are largely fragmentary and even inappropriate. Burnt Money (Plata Quemada) is nothing if not unique.
Nor is the film documentary or just another love-action thriller. It is noirish, as others have noted, but it is at its center a classic tragedy as well, something Ricardo Piglia surely had in mind, replete with symbols, adumbrations, and a score of tragic flaws in the characters.
My next step is to brush up on my Borges, followed by a couple of weeks in Buenos Aires to retrace the footsteps of the originals. Why not? I am deeply impressed by this story.