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El Perro (Unrated)





Release Date: May 9th, 2006 (Cinema Village) by Cinema Tropical.
The Cast: Juan Villegas, Walter Donado, Gregorio, Rosa Valsecchi, Mariela DŪaz, Sabino Morales, Sabino, Claudina Fazzini, Kita Ca, Carlos Rossi.
Directed by Carlos Sorin.
In Spanish with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: Coco (Villegas), a middle-aged, unemployed man, goes on a road trip when he adopts a prize-winning dog named Lechien.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: What makes El Perro so special is that it has a tender script and an appealing protagonist. Juan Villegas gives a very charming performance as Coco, a man who gets laid off from his job as a mechanic and struggles to find a new job while living with his daughter (DŪaz). When he kindly assists a woman whose car breaks down, the woman introduces him to her widowed mother who gives him a special gift: Lechien, a prize-winning dog. After this point, Cocoís life changes as he finds a dog trainer (Donado) who introduces him to the world of dog shows as well as stud services. Screenwriters Santiago Calori, Salvador Roselli, and Carlos Rossi donít rely on silly humor or gimmicky plot twists as a means of entertainment. Instead, much of the humor feels off-beat and dry, but, most importantly, organic. Director Carlos Sorin, who also directed Minimal Stories, shows sensitivity toward naturalism by moving at a leisurely pace and lets the film breathe which gives it a life of its own, so-to-speak. During the many warm and true-to-life scenes, itís easy to be thoroughly engaged and immersed into Cocoís lively journey with his new adorable dog.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Just like the saying goes, a dog is manís best friend. As Coco gradually bonds with Lechien, he becomes less lonely and seems happier. In a very interesting way, Coco also manages to have a strong effect on Lechien. Thus, in a surprisingly sweet and moving third act, they both truly seem like best friends. Itís possible for oneís life to change for the better even late in life. By the uplifting ending, both Coco and Lechien feel neither lonely nor alone.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0

IN A NUTSHELL: Unforgettable and moving. A simple, sweet and charming treat. Not-to-be-missed!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)


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