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MOVIE REVIEW: Carancho

A gory foreign film worth checking out

  • Martina Gusman as Lujn and Ricardo Darn as Sosa in "Carancho."
  • A scene from "Carancho."
  • Ricardo Darn as Sosa in "Carancho."
  • Martina Gusman as Lujn in "Carancho."
  • Ricardo Darn as Sosa and Martina Gusman as Lujn in "Carancho."
  • A scene from "Carancho."
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This is an interesting bit of foreign film noir that involves an ambulance chaser (or “vulture” as they call them in Argentina) that falls in love with a young doctor working on an ambulance. And he does chase her. The romance didn’t seem believable to me at first, but things are revealed later in the movie that make it seem very plausible.

Martina Gusman is the doctor, looking like a tired version of Penelope Cruz (she’s often forced to work extra shifts). When the film started with the cliché scene of the “vulture” being beat up by guys that know what he’s up to – I didn’t think the movie would end up being very good.

There were so many things that happened along the way that were powerful, though. One of those had this guy talking to somebody that was preparing a naked body for burial. It was a quick scene, but it packed a punch. When we start to realize that some of these schemes the vulture is involved in include more than just suing insurance companies from car accidents, it’s shocking. A scene with an alcoholic that’s prepared to “fake” an injury is painful on so many levels.

At around the half-way point in the film, I found it hard to have sympathy for characters that were creating their own problems for themselves. It also made me like the film less.

It’s also hard to describe many of the scenes, because there’s no way to talk about them without spoiling things. There were glimpses of great filmmaking here and some scenes reminded me of Coen brothers films (especially the car crashes).

Director Pablo Trapero (Lion’s Den, Born and Bred) gave us an interesting gritty film, withone of the best endings I’ve seen all year.

The movie gets a B-.