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John J. is a seasoned hit man sent on a job to Argentina. When the General he's sent to kill delays his return to the country, John passes the time with Manuela, a beautiful dancer who becomes his teacher and guide into Argentina's sensual world of the tango. Spellbound by the rich and mysterious world Manuela has shown him, his idyll is shattered when the reality of why he's there comes crashing down around him. Written by
This movie is Robert Duvall's tribute to tango, which is why he filmed it in Buenos Aires using many real tango dancers and authentic tango locations. Some of the tango celebrity faces you can spot include: Geraldine Rojas and Javiar Rodriguez (Pirucha - sister of Manuela and her first partner), Pablo Veron (Pirucha's final parter in the closing credits), Jorge Dispari and La Turca, Orlanda Paiva, Maria Nieves, Armando Orzuza, Carlos Copello, Alicia Monti, Los Hermanos Macana (two men performing a dance). The club with the checkerboard floor is Club Sin Rumbo, in the outskirt of the city, but a famous barrio for producing excellent tango dancers. See more »
[All in Spanish]
So what is tango? It is something new to me. Tango is new in America. I love it.
Tango is life.
Tango is love. It's hate. Tango is everything.
[Making a hand gesture]
It's a lot of things together.
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If you just want to watch some good dancing then you can watch most of this film and enjoy. If you want a movie with real substance you'll need to look elsewhere. I got this kind of surreal feeling about all the characters in this movie, except for the Argentinean dancers. There probably supposed to be some higher meaning to this movie to correlate the tango with the job of an assassin, but I missed it to be sure. Its not like you won't understand what's going on while you watch the movie, but you may wonder what's the bigger picture to all the small interactions between the characters.
With the exception of the main plot, featuring Robert Duvall, I don't feel like there was any closure on the sub-plots and the characters played by Ruben Blades, Luciana Pedraza, and some of the other assorted supporting characters. There is a lot of room to expand upon the intrigues and double-crosses witnessed in the movie, but there really isn't a lot of explanation as to why someone is doing what they are doing and for whom they are doing it. This is what led me to the incomplete feeling I got watching this film. Maybe a director's cut might shed some light on a lot of the questions I found myself asking about character motives and behaviors.
This a movie that no one will fault you for missing and no one will look at you like you've got four heads if you go see it. Although, I think many people will be saying "I never heard of it".
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