In Patagonia, a mechanic who dreams of a different life starts to think big after his adopted pup wins first prize at a local dog show.
Rich Cline wrote:
There’s a scruffy charm to this film that completely wins us over. Bracingly authentic performances from a non-professional cast make it feel like a documentary, although it’s written and directed with an expert touch.
After the garage where he works in rural Patagonia closes, Coco (Villegas) is adrift. He’s 52, and no one wants to hire him. He tries selling his finely crafted knives, but no one wants them either. Then one day he helps a woman whose car breaks down, and to say thanks she gives him a highly bred dogo, a specialty Argentine breed. And Bombón changes Coco’s life, especially when he links up with the life-loving dog trainer Walter (Donado) and hits the dog show/stud circuit.
Even though the film feels like improv, it’s shot and edited like a proper movie (The Story of the Weeping Camel comes to mind). And Villegas is truly endearing, with his wry smile and hesitant speech. And his interaction with the extremely expressive Bombón is simply brilliant–they’re similar creatures, unsure of where they are and where they should be, but slowly learning. Donado is superb as well–a massive bundle of fast-thinking, warm-hearted energy. And as this threesome embark on their adventure, they’re joined by several intriguing side characters.
This is exceptionally witty filmmaking, keeping us smiling with an engaging mixture of dry comedy, genuine warmth and astute social commentary. Director-cowriter Sorin assembles the film to its own refreshing rhythm–there’s no contrived story structure, even though the journey these characters travel is fully formed. It’s filmed with a beautiful sense of the Patagonian countryside–expansive deserts, dusty towns, invasive commercial culture. And the script is packed with references to Argentina’s economic and political situation, but not so much that it weighs the film down.
Basically this is a simple series of adventures for a man and his dog as they transform each other’s life. Each sequence is inventive and disarmingly entertaining, with big laughs and small insights. And frankly, the series of sequences dealing with Bombón’s coming of age (ahem!) are worth the price of a ticket!
2.01GB | 1h 37m | 708×398 | mkv