Jesus Aranda portrays a Taxi driver in Lima , Peru. Although an 'ordinary' man, his life is by no means un-complicated, and his energy, passions, and need to survive, get him entangled in a series of complicated situations. His own way of trying to understand and solve his existence is... by reading Tarot cards. For himself, and for others. We visit Urban Peru in its strongest, most colorful and (in the eyes of many a viewer, I suppose) most tacky guise. But Quattrini directs with such fresh compassion, that our desire to 'judge' the characters who make up this rich and tasty meal, simply dissolve. So although our Protagonist spends the money he so humbly earns (or wins!) on booze and prostitutes, we STILL stand by his side as the film progresses.... He is a flawed human being, but he recognizes this. And the frankness and beauty of his relationship with his daughter, the sadness of his doomed relationship with his wife, of his pathetic business deals,of his dependence on whores, all make us know and 'feel' for him the more. This is greatly due to the main character's natural disposition. Aranda is like a ripe plum. Almost the unwilling star of a Bollywood movie. He is a smart-ass but also as disarming as a small child. Excellent casting indeed. The film is crude at times, realistic and never, in fact, 'vulgar'. All its characters are somehow lost in the desperate jungle of this colorful but difficult Third World city. They all try to survive. Some have no dignity, others do. We are taken into this planet, allowed to enjoy its colors, feel its heat, see its sweat and almost smell it. Truly a small wonder of a movie, although at first sight this may not transpire. A tricky rip-off in order to win a football match, a date with a hooker which is disarmingly pure, an Argentine business man who should be working for other people's health problems but has a severe one of his own; all these are but some of the quirky ingredients of this cruel but charming movie. Neo realism, when well employed, can still be an 'eye-opener'. See 'Chicha tu Madre'. I'm very glad I did.
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