5.2/10
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7 user 10 critic

Cargo (2011)

R | | Drama | 21 October 2011 (USA)
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A young Russian woman, smuggled into America by human traffickers, and a notorious Egyptian transporter, hired to drive her from the Mexican border to New York City, form an unlikely bond ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Natasha
...
Sayed
Philip Willingham ...
Lukasz
...
Raul Kidnapper (as Raul I Torres)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daria Andrews ...
Katya
Xavier Fan ...
Paramedic
Vaughn Goland ...
Tattoo Man
Israel Hernandez ...
Van driver
...
Val
Robin Madel ...
Cashier
Elizabetta T. Malagon ...
Girl Playing Soccer
...
Driver
...
Bouncer
...
Joe
...
Olga
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Storyline

A young Russian woman, smuggled into America by human traffickers, and a notorious Egyptian transporter, hired to drive her from the Mexican border to New York City, form an unlikely bond that transforms them and threatens to derail the traffickers' plans. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

21 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Human Cargo  »

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User Reviews

 
Draws The Viewer In To The Plight Of The Victim. Well Done.
24 January 2015 | by (Durham Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

A movie that manages to draw you into the plight of its protagonist and that turns her into not just an object of sympathy, but actually allows the viewer to feel her plight, has to be considered a success. "Cargo" managed to do that, both on the strength of the story and on the wonderful and powerful performance from Natasha Rinis.

Rinis' character (also named Natasha) is a young Russian woman who is convinced to travel to America to live her dream of being a famous model. She realizes things aren't right almost from the start. She arrives not in the US but Mexico, is forced by suspicious characters to turn over her passport and then smuggled across the border and imprisoned in a basement with other girls from whom she learns that she's to be forced into the sex trade. Here's where the movie took an unexpected (to me) turn. I thought the story would follow the misery of her life as a trafficked sex worker. Instead, Natasha is turned over to a driver named Sayed (played by Sayed Badreya) whose job is to deliver her to a scumbag in New York City, where her fate will be ... who knows.

The movie revolves almost entirely around the journey of these two. Natasha is abused and terrified - but she's also strong and smart. After failing to escape a couple of times she starts to try to build an alliance with Sayed, to gain his sympathy. Sayed, on the other hand, is a contradictory character himself. A devout Muslim, who regularly stops the journey to pray, he finally confesses to Natasha that he doesn't like making money this way, but he has no choice. The evolution of the relationship between the two is interesting to watch.

Unfortunately, it's also the evolution of this relationship that weakens the movie in the end. You spend the whole movie rooting for Natasha and admiring her strength and courage, but in the end it's Sayed who kind of emerges as the hero, as Nastasha is rescued. After the way the movie had progressed, I wanted Natasha to find her own means of escape. This doesn't detract from the character's strength, but it just didn't fit what I wanted to see. And it made Sayed a bit of a heroic figure in the end. I appreciate the portrayal of his transformation, but it was Natasha who needed to come out in the end as the hero. Still, even if the ending wasn't as satisfying as it could or should have been, this was a very powerful and very sombre movie that does portray something that, sadly, happens more often than we care to think of. (7/10)


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