|'Las Acacias appears to be an exercise in avoiding anything even passably interesting.'|
Whilst a slow-burning film can provide welcome respite from the brash crashing and banging of the multiplex, it is very difficult to recommend one in which practically nothing happens. Pablo Giorgelli's Las Acaias follows two characters - three if you count the baby one carries - on a long car journey, where the 'Drama' counts as their truck hitting a pot hole or the baby filling its nappy.
Unsurprisingly to the casual observer, these instances hardly make for compelling cinema. The gentle pull of gruff trucker Rubén (Germán de Silva) and emigree Jacinta (Hebe Duarte) as they are forced to share their lonely lives with each other should at least provide a little warmth, some joviality perhaps, at least the low-pitched Comedy of miss-matched buddies. Instead it provides little, the dialogue stays sparse, Diego Poleri's cinematography attaches itself to the inside of the vehicle, in harmony with its occupants.
This results in a film which, at times, appears somewhere between lazy and uninspired. This difficult location of its merits is matched only in audience frustration, forced to sit and watch a boring journey translated with little embellishment to the screen. We stop, eventually, at Rubén's sisters. There's some drama here. We know Rubén is late for her birthday, he has an unwrapped present and when the truck pulls up he seems reluctant to get out. Inevitably, when he finally builds up the courage to talk to her, Giorgelli's camera stays in the car with Jacinta. Las Acacias appears to be an exercise in avoiding anything even passably interesting.
The trailer which plays before the Blu-ray suggests that Argentina's cultural department have put some money into this, or at least tried to attach themselves on to it. You have to wonder why. There's more scenery in that trail, ten times more in fact, than in the film, and what is here isn't attractive. Couple that with an empty narrative about two people we never know and you've got a recipe for sleep-inducement.