BOMBON [EL PERRO]
When Juan (Juan Villegas) loses his job on the closure of a remote petrol station/garage in Patagonia, he tries to make a living selling his own handmade knives, with little success. On the road to another village, he helps a young woman (Claudia Fazzini) whose car has broken down, and ends up at her family estate, where the woman's widowed mother (Kita Ca) gives him her late husband's large white dog, Bombon, a purebred Argentinian dogo. When an enthusiastic dog trainer (Walter Donado) offers to go into business with him showing the dog and selling stud services, Juan's future brightens considerably, although not without complications.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
When director Carlos Sorin introduced the film at the Sydney Film Festival (June 11, 2005), he said in charmingly accented English that his film "is about unemployment ... but you can please smile if you like..." The scene was set for an optimistic road movie in the vast empty stretches of Patagonia, about a man and a dog. Juan (Juan Villegas) is a modest middle aged widower with a permanent deferential smile and a stoic attitude to life. This is not so much acting skill as casting brilliance: Sorin never uses professional actors, although he lamented in his introduction that after every film he vows to use pro actors next time.... But never does.
He loves the reality of emotion and response that real people give him. In this case, Juan becomes one of those memorable cinematic characters whose main characteristic is a quiet but indestructible mettle. The film's gentle humour comes from both this character and Juan juxtaposed with the big white dogo, Bombon, plus the exuberance of dog trainer Walter (the real Walter Donado).
Bombon, whom Juan first calls Lechien (Le Chien is the name of the planned dog breeding business the previous owner of the dogo, a Frenchman, wanted to run), finds complications immediately: his daughter kicks him and Bombon out. Walter puts him up as part of a business arrangement to make money showing the dog.
If you are wondering how such a simple story could turn into such an engaging, human interest story, just catch this film.
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BOMBON [EL PERRO] (M)
CAST: Juan Villegas, Walter Donado, Micol Estévez, Kita Ca, Pascual Condito, Claudina Fazzini
PRODUCER: Óscar Kramer, José María Morales
DIRECTOR: Carlos Sorin
SCRIPT: Santiago Calori, Salvador Roselli, Carlos Sorin
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Hugo Colace
EDITOR: Mohamed Rajid
MUSIC: Nicolas Sorin
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Margarita Jusid
RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hopscotch
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 20, 2005