7.3/10
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23 user 75 critic

Chinese Take-Out (2011)

Un cuento chino (original title)
A well-ordered hardware store owner in Buenos Aires will see his life turn upside down when he helps a stranded Chinese man who doesn't speak a word of Spanish find his uncle in the bustling city. But can this coexistence bear fruit?
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Comedy

A Mexican, A Chinese boy and the Cow that brought them together.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ricardo Darín ... Roberto
Muriel Santa Ana ... Mari
Ignacio Huang ... Jun
Enric Cambray Enric Cambray ... Roberto joven (as Enric Rodríguez)
Iván Romanelli ... Leonel
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joaquín Bouzas Joaquín Bouzas ... Cliente 2
Julia Castelló Agulló Julia Castelló Agulló ... Italian Lover
Gustavo Comini Gustavo Comini ... Chofer volquete
Vivian El Jaber Vivian El Jaber ... Rosa
Javier Pinto ... Italian Lover
Derli Prada Derli Prada ... Proveedor 1
Pablo Seijo Pablo Seijo ... Cliente 1
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Storyline

In Buenos Aires, the bitter and methodic Roberto is a lonely man and the owner of a hardware store. Roberto collects bizarre worldwide news in an album as a hobby and his acquaintance Mari has an unrequited love for him, but Roberto is always evasive. One day, Roberto sees a Chinese named Jun being expelled from a taxi while he is watching the landing of airplanes in the airport and he helps the man to stand up. Jun does not speak Spanish and shows a tattoo with an address on his arm. Roberto heads to the spot with Jun and discover that the place belonged to Jun's uncle that sold it three and half years ago. Roberto goes with Jun to the police station, to the China's embassy and to a Chinese neighborhood to seek out his uncle but it is a fruitless search. Roberto lodges Jun in his house and after a series of incidents, he finds a delivery boy to translate Jun and he learns the dramatic story of his life. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Argentina]

Country:

Argentina | Spain

Language:

Spanish | Mandarin

Release Date:

24 March 2011 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Chinese Take-Out See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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User Reviews

 
language gap
25 February 2013 | by dromascaSee all my reviews

Usually telling the end of a film is considered a spoiler. In the case of Argentinian director Sebastián Borensztein, 'Chinese Take-Out' ('Un cuento cino' in the Spanish version) it would be a spoiler to tell how it begins. I actually watched the usual late comers to the cinema hall and wondered whether the film experience is really complete for those folks who entered even only two minutes late after the start of the projection. So, I won't make the mistake of revealing the start of this quite charming feel-good film, I will just say it's quite relevant.

The film tells the story of a grumpy mid-aged owner of a hardware shop in Argentina named Roberto who lives alone, refusing almost any relation with other human beings excepting his suppliers and customers (well, even with these ones only to the point where they do not walk on his toes). He is a good and decent man, and a very bad communicator at the same time. The last thing he needs in life is the appearance of a young Chinese man, Jun, frightened and disoriented, who looks for his uncle in the search for somebody to support him in finding a new way in a new country and who has no-one to rely on but Roberto whom he met accidentally. None of them speaks any word in the language of the other, and each hides traumas from the bast that justify their own barriers in communication. The whole movie is about finding ways to communicate and building a friendship that will help both in overcoming the hurdles of life.

Films about overcoming cultural gaps doubled by barriers of language and making human communication possible despite of them have been made in the past, the one I happen to remember is the Israeli 'Noodle', which was telling the story of a stewardess who finds herself taking care of an abandoned Chinese kid. What makes the story different in 'Un quento cino' are the background stories of the two heroes and the fact that Ricardo Darin and Ignacio Huang are right on spot for the two leading roles. One of the nice ideas of the film is that Jun (Huang) does not really speak one word of Spanish during the whole film, he speaks Chinese, but no translation is available. The language gap is more than a emotional trick or a comic pretext in this film. It is the very glue upon which the relationship and eventually the friendship between the two characters is based upon. Although it is aimed eventually to be a feel-good movie (and succeeds to be so) 'Un quento cino' avoids falling into cheap melodrama because of the discrete humor built upon the day-to-day situations, also based on the fact that in the absence of words the characters need to use gestures which to some extent remind the pantomime style of the early cinema comedies. A discrete and pleasant film.


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