Cannes 2010. Pablo Trapero's "Carancho"

David Hudson

Cannes 2010

"When young director Pablo Trapero shot El Bonaerense in 2002, he pushed the frontiers of socially realistic cinema in Argentina," writes Deborah Young in the Hollywood Reporter. "[W]ith Carancho, he returns to the same nitty-gritty terrain (the film is even shot in the same neighborhood) where police corruption is a given and survival depends on beating your rivals to a pulp before they hit on you. Inspired by the sultry smooth atmosphere of Hollywood film noir, Carancho spills the beans about corrupt hospitals that allow unscrupulous lawyers to make a mint on other people's calamities."

"The always-stellar Ricardo Darin is Sosa, a man with a hidden history who now ekes out a living working as a personal injury lawyer, scanning the police radio and chasing ambulances to find poor people caught in misfortune and handle their insurance claims — always being sure to skim a healthy percentage for his employers." Todd Brown at Twitch: "It is while working his nightly rounds that Sosa first meets Lujan (Martina Gusman) a young doctor who, like Sosa, carries an awful lot of weight and history in her eyes.... She needs some convincing, but the two are nevertheless drawn inexorably together."

This is "the most commercial film to date" from Trapero, "whose Lion's Den was in competition at Cannes in 2008," notes Allan Hunter in Screen. "An expertly crafted thriller steeped in the social injustices of Buenos Aires, it combines crisp storytelling with appealingly flawed characters and moments of startling violence.... Shot in cinemascope, Carancho has the look and feel of classic post-War film noir. Sosa and Lujan inhabit a shadowy, twilight zone of events that happen when the rest of the world is asleep. There is a lemony, neon tone to Julián Apezteguia's cinematography that offers an atmospheric sense of night in the city. If this was 20th Century Fox in the 1950s you might expect to find Richard Widmark and Susan Hayward in the main roles."

"At its core, Carancho is a classic one-last-job thriller, but executed with such verve, such dazzling proficiency and head-spinning skill that it seems to become something else entirely," writes Matt Bochenski for Little White Lies. "It's a world cinema action movie, complete with one scene that made me shout out loud in the cinema, and a jaw-dropper of a finale."



A decent showing at Letras de Cine.

Site. Page at Cannes (Un Certain Regard). Cannes 2010: Coverage of the coverage index.


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