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Bear has never gotten over the separation from his wife and daughter after having been convicted for armed robbery and homicide and sent to prison. Now he is out, to finally get his cut of the money and reunite with his family, or at least avenge the damage done. Written by
If this movie reminds you of `UNFORGIVEN', you are not wrong. The main difference is while that was set one hundred and fifty years in the past; this one is the present of many people in South America.
Oso (Bear), the nickname of a big and not particularly friendly guy, is released from prison after ten years. He was arrested, on his daughter's first birthday, committing a robbery where he killed a policeman. His only desires are to reencounter his daughter and collect his share of the robbery, his ex-boss `El Turco' never paid to his family.
Of course, the money and his family does not exist anymore. After such time, his wife got another man and his daughter is unaware of his existence. And his boss expend the money. For several reasons, he accepts another robbery organized by `El Turco'. Betrayal and death will follow.
Oso (as portrayed by the exceptional Argentinean actor Julio Chavez) a man is that knows hell and is used to it. He is a physical person, violent and not very fond of words. His face is tough and terrifying. The kind of guy you will (and must run away) if you ever cross with him. Aside from Chavez, Soledad Villamil as his wife, Luis Machin as the boyfriend and particulary Agostina Lage as the daughter are superb.
However, as many wild animals (and Oso is really wild) he will protect his siblings even if he has to kill for that. He has nothing else to loose, no future, and no fear or remorse. As I said, he has no future but he did not surrender either.
Caetano, never tries to make the character lovable. In one scene he steals from a peasant who refuses to give him money; in another, he beats his wife boyfriend (a poor guy who lost his job and is trying to make a few bucks gambling) because he thinks is bad for his daughter (coming from an unrepentant criminal and killer doesn't look very moralizing).
Oso is the real thing Tom Hanks tried and fail to do in `Road to Perdition'. In one scene with his daughter, she talks about things he does not care or understand, but his face or mask shows a huge effort to reach or communicate with her even when both worlds are impossible to mix.
Aside from the simple story, there is the incredible and moving background of the South American (Argentina in this case) poverty. There are no fancy houses here, walls are not painted or even finished. Mate is the drink or beer (in South America is cheaper that colas) and the houses are so small that one must stand for the other to pass. The catch here is that all those losers and criminals, are product of social situation of jobless families trying to survive in any way they can. So when the movie ends, do not expect the moral redempting American ending. Here, people keep the money even if it was not obtained honestly, because is they only way to survive.
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