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This Argentine film came as a total surprise when it was shown in a cable channel recently. Alejandro Chomski has directed the film, which presents us with a young woman at a point in her life, so bleak, that appears hopeless.
If you haven't seen the film, please stop reading here.
The beautiful Antonella Costa, is Paula, an aspiring actress and a waitress in a restaurant. When we first meet her, she is seen in a restless state trying to get money from the ATM, without any luck. In a way, she must be expecting a miracle, knowing full well there is no money in the account. To make matters worse, the play she is seen rehearsing, will not open in a while and she loses her job at the bistro because she's been late three times, recently.
The film follows Paula through the streets of Buenos Aires trying to get a kind soul to lend her money to help her pay the back rent she owes to a landlord that wants her to give him what she owes. Everyone she asks to help, can't do anything for her. Even her own father, questions her instead of being kind.
In desperation, Paula goes to see a friend who is a prostitute. She feels that she will be able to get the funds she needs in order to survive by taking to the streets with this young woman. Things go from bad to worse. Everything she touches turns out to be wrong. The people she meets are predators that want their money's worth; they all use Paula to satisfy their own needs. The only kind soul she meets appears to be Raul, the Spaniard executive, but Paula doesn't want any part of him.
This film reflects the reality in Argentina in the turmoil that followed recent catastrophic government measures that left the people impoverished and unemployed because of the hard times the country was going through. That anxiety and despair is what we see in young Paula. There is not a ray of hope, which was the point Mr. Chomski, the director was trying to make.
The film owes everything to one of the most amazing performances by an actress in recent memory: Antonella Costa. She is the embodiment of Paula, the young woman at the center of the story. It's painful, at times, to watch what Paula is going through in front of our eyes. Yet, the film ends with a moment of reflexion and perhaps hope, as Paula gets out of the taxi that is taking her home, after a hard night, and she faces the immensity of the river as the sun is rising in the distance. In fact, we realize at this moment that Paula and the country she represents, will survive.
Watch this movie in order to see the magnificent young actress, Antonella Costa!
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