Carancho, Argentine Social Exposé-cum-Thriller, Opens at Coral Gables Art Cinema
The film opens tonight at the Coral Gables Art Cinema with Argentine food and wine bar courtesy of Graziano's Restaurant of Coral Gables, and a tango performance by George Vergara & Cythia McGee La Portilla.
In the film, from staged-accident scams to schemes designed to dupe innocents out of indemnity payouts, Argentina's health and insurance industries are raked over the coals as corrupt systems that exploit the powerless and crush those with do-gooder consciences. Short on genuine suspense and long on righteous anger, the film is bolstered by a sturdy performance by Darín that brings emotional nuance to an underwritten role.
Trapero, meanwhile, mires the proceedings in grungy neorealist aesthetics that often prove self-conscious and ineffective, particularly in an early series of handheld tracking shots from behind characters' heads that mistake bumpiness for immediacy and prove that the Dardennes' influence has reached South America.
Nonetheless, the director's stylistic showmanship eventually pays off in a bravura single-take climax, his camera navigating physical and emotional spaces with the fatalistic urgency and despair of film noir.
Carnacho screens tonight at 7:30 and 10:00 pm (both screenings includes 9:00 pm reception), with showtimes through April 28. Special ticket prices for opening night are $15 general admission. Coral Gables Art Cinema is located at 260 Aragon Avenue in Coral Gables. Visit coralgablesartcinema.com.
-- Nick Schager