Movie Review by Almiro Jorge
Starring: Veronica Hassan, Tatiana Saphir, Carla Crespo, Beatriz Thibaudin Maria Merlino
Director: Diego Lerman
A story of changes upon changes…
Marcia (Tatiana Saphir), a stout lingerie shop salesclerk, is the epitome of a lonely character living a tedious life of more anguish and disappointment than joy in Buenos Aires. Everything is dramatically changed when bad-girls Mao (Carla Crespo) and Lenin (Veronica Hassan) abduct her and take her on an Argentinean road-trip with a difference.
To start off, Mao expresses her love for Marcia, claiming it was love at first sight. This is a shock to the ‘kidnapped’ girl, who has experienced no homosexual tendencies, and very few heterosexual encounters (having had only one boyfriend). Although it is not her choice to go with the lesbians, she contemplates the possibility of this relationship and doesn’t do much to escape. After all, what has she got back in her empty apartment?
Mao and Lenin are punks who don’t have jobs, don’t care where they’re going or what happens to them. Their attitude has the kind of recklessness that many people might find repulsive, and many more appealing. Thus they can go anywhere they want, and after some stops where we get to know more about them, they decide to visit Lenin’s old aunt Blanca (Beatriz Thibaudin) in Rosario.
This lively woman’s life and attitude sets the environment for change in all three individuals. Adding more to the depiction of human emotion than to plot, Blanca’s two tenants – Delia (Maria Merlino), a painter, and Felipe (Marcos Ferrante), a biology student – also establish relationships with the main characters and are instrumental for the alterations that do take place.
The editing does leave room for some improvement – the cuts are in places amateur and the plot at times implausible – although the photography is beautiful and captivating. Instead of an extravagant story or elaborate settings we have seemingly simple ideas. But it is perhaps this simplicity that enables the debut director, Diego Lerman, to captivate the intricacies of human interactions that call to our own experience of emotions. The character progression is simple but apt by Lerman and his actors. Cleverly, the plot seems to leave you baffled about what will happen next, as nobody behaves the way you expect them to, which brings about a quirkiness in the subtle humour.
Surprisingly, but appropriately, this film is not vulgarly sex-focused, but merely uses the homosexual aspect to paint a picture of unconventional, alternative love but love nonetheless. It is possibly the right choice for an individual like Marcia, whose life needed to be turned upside down in order to feel affection and belonging, as many of our own lives do.
A heartfelt comedy drama that is worth a watch.