Gustavo, well dressed in a Buenos Aires office and gunning for a promotion, gets a briefcase full of cash from his boss to use in shutting down a mine in remote San Juan province. ...
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Gustavo, well dressed in a Buenos Aires office and gunning for a promotion, gets a briefcase full of cash from his boss to use in shutting down a mine in remote San Juan province. Everything seems to go wrong: no one meets him at the provincial airport; he gets bad directions, leaves cell-phone range, and runs out of gas at a roadhouse near the border where a few drug runners may be waiting for product. He's stuck there for a few days before the gas truck arrives. There he meets Mariel, who's with an older man, one of the drug dealers. His first approach to her to boorish, but something about him attracts her. Will he, his money, or his desire survive? Written by
Recently this film was shown on cable. Argentine films don't have the market in this country, but some, like this movie, should have a wider audience. This film, which I suspect is an Indie, deserves better. First of all, director Carlos Jaureguialzo, knows a thing or two about what he wanted to show us. Obviously, he does wonders with very little money.
This story evokes some mainstream films where everything that could go wrong, and more, happens to poor Gustavo, an up and coming junior executive, of a mining firm based in Buenos Aires. When his boss decides to test his ability to deal with problems in one mine in the north of the country, he sends the young man to solve the problems, also, he gives him one hundred thousand dollars to pay off the ones making trouble.
The problem is that nothing prepares Gustavo for what he will encounter along the way to the mine. The first clue is at the airport: the person who is to meet him, never shows up; a group of kids almost steal his money, and worst of all, he rents a car from an agency that doesn't even have a map for him. When he picks up a young soldier, he realizes that he is dealing with people with such narrow mentalities, that everything he knows from the corporate environment, doesn't apply in the present situation. To make things worse, his cellular phone, his link to civilization, goes out of range.
By taking a detour that appears to give him the shortest route to the mine, Gustavo discovers, too late, he has descended into hell as he arrives at the abandoned country general store/motel, with the only gas pump in the vicinity.
At the shabby motel, he encounters more trouble in the form of a patronizing owner who has no idea when the gas supply will arrive to fill the empty pump. Temptation, in the form of the mysterious Mariel, lurks in the distance. The menu at the inn never changes. In fact, Gustavo might as well die in that remote place and no one will ever know about it. It's just the epitome of isolation with no hope in sight! The only problem it doesn't ring true is the confrontation between Mariel's man and the Bolivian smugglers. Those scenes could have used a more realistic approach, but it's only a minor detail.
The acting is excellent. Daniel Kuznieta is a new face, as far as I'm concerned. His take on Gustavo, the young man who falls through a hole without any chance of ever getting out, is right on target. Isabel Achaval infuses Mariel with raw sex that is hard to forget. Manuel Vicente and the rest of the cast are very effective.
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