7.3/10
15,061
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

 
How do you say: "Sheer perfection" in Chinese?
5 January 2013 | by davidtraversa-1See all my reviews

"Enjoyable but a bit sentimental" says Yalza, from Denmark, as a title to his critic for this movie. I don't quite understand it, this is not a Rambo movie, this is a very subtle composition about human values, about ethical decisions, about people reaching out to each other, trying to cope with emotions, sometimes small ones, sometimes too big and impossible to grasp in one take.

I was mesmerized throughout the whole film, for moments afraid that the incredible pacing and magic created by this superb director (Sebastián Borensztein, also the script writer) could come down with some unforgivable faux pas that would destroy the fantastic story being told. But that improbability never happened. Not even in the most minuscule detail.

Ricardo Darín created such a strong introverted character (Roberto) endearing from the very beginning with his constant cursing (I didn't see the English subtitles, but I'm afraid that most Argentinian cursing vocabulary is untranslatable) while Ignacio Huang (Jun) brought to life this lost, penniless Chinese immigrant, incapable even to say ROBERTO due to his total lack of the Spanish language (plus the handicap that Chinese people cannot pronounce R at the beginning of a word); Muriel Santa Ana as Mari projected so well her (not hidden at all) great love for Roberto that one felt immediately for her.

And so it goes with the whole rest of the cast, all perfect, even to the smallest part. This movie grabbed me with the story of the lost immigrant in a country without the language because I was there and although it wasn't that tragic, I know how one can feel when it's impossible to communicate.

There are some heart wrenching emotional moments (the ones I suppose our friend Yalza from Denmark found objectionable tear-jerkers) but they are an intrinsic part of those situations and their inevitable conclusion, otherwise we'd be dealing with robots.

Anyway, to me this is an impeccable movie, so far removed from any Hollywood product (I'm convinced that Argentinian movies delve with the same profoundly human feelings that once did the Italian neorrealism in the 1940s) and --as far as I know and I don't know that much-- only Brazilian cinematography matches those feelings with the same intensity.

Try to watch it because, honestly, it's a jewel of a movie. And oh! its final scene... what a gorgeous final scene to end a perfectly gorgeous movie!


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