Carancho (Pablo Trapero, 2010): Argentina/France/Chile

Reviewed by Paulina Soto. Viewed at Mann’s Chinese Theatre, AFI Filmfestival, Hollywood, CA.

The movie Carancho is directed by the Argentinian Pablo Trapero (Crane World, 1999,  Lion’s den, 2008)

The movie draws us in to the realistic life in Argentina where people is getting killed every year in the dangerous traffic. We follow the young doctor/ambulance medic Luján (Martina Gusman) in her efforts to help sick people, when she one day meet Sosa (Ricardo Darin), a lawyer who is one of everybody that urge tragedies to receive insurance payouts. When they meet, they fall immediately in love and soon Luján is there to convince Sosa on what he’s doing for a living is indecent. She saves lives while he tries to invite accidents. Sosa explains the situation and Luján is soon there to help him, with devastating consequences.

The movie begins with a violent fight and that’s when we’ll meet Luján. We’ll soon get the picture that the movie is about traffic accidents and hospitals. They used a lot of hand-camera, especially at the more action filled parts that gave everything a stressful feeling, somewhat very shaky. I wasn’t a fan of the common extreme close-ups. It felt uncomfortable, though it fitted perfectly at some points of the movie. The lighting was professional and gave the movie the right mood. There wasn’t too much music, except from some music from the radio. The movie had a slow forward motion. The ending of the movie was well done, without revealing too much. It felt very drastic and unexpected.

Martina Gusman and Ricardo Darin’s acting is flawless and is one of the main subject that keeps up the life of the movie. I had bigger expectations about this movie which turned out to be very slow going and the settings turned out to be set, mostly in a cold and impersonal hospital. Except all dramatic moments in the hospital, there wasn’t much that made me freeze in my seat. However, it was a good movie which provides information about how it looks in the Argentine streets.

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