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Carancho (The Vulture)

Pablo Trapero

Argentina, 2010

Cornerhouse, 24 March 2012


It’s a typical noir tale.

On falling for a girl, a guy looks at his life and wants to make it better.  Love will do that to you.  Anyway, he decides that her love deserves more than what he is: an ambulance chaser, a dodgy lawyer.  She’s in a noble profession, a doctor working in A and E, and she could never ever, or so he feels, love him simply as he is, warts and all.  No, she is too pure and perfect for that.  Even though when he goes down on her on their first date, she seems to like it a lot.

So the dodgy lawyer (the brilliant Ricardo Darin) decides to become a good man: a fine notion.  But in doing so he thereby threatens the livelihood of his similarly dodgy, not to say violent colleagues.  And so they act (and attack) to protect their interests.  Naturally.

And another thing: the doctor, working long hours in A and E, has been taking drugs in order to function, I’m guessing amphetamines.  She’s got a bit of a dependency.

The upshot is that this great love, a catalyst that he (they?) believed could transform everything, becomes mired in the messiness of contemporary urban life.  You have two fallible people bonded by a fragile love, running scared, making a bid for freedom.

As a noir experience, it is a terrific film, well worthy of David Goodis, Jim Thompson, one of those guys.  Imagine The Getaway without the happy ending.  That’s how it crashes out.