How entertaining? ★★★★☆
Thought provoking? ★★☆☆☆
27 November 2011
This article is a review of LAS ACACIAS.
"Are you Ruben? Mr Fernando sent me," Jacinta (Hebe Duarte)
Slow, quiet, gentle and surprisingly not boring for a road trip taken by taciturn individuals and a baby. It’s one of those few examples where it seems that only cinema could have done this story justice. This is all about the facial expressions. Novelistic internal monologues from the two leads would have revealed too much; and the theatre, while intimate, could not capture the subtlety of the exchanges. On the surface nothing much seems to be happening. Lorry driver Ruben is transporting timber from Paraguay to Argentina, though told by his boss to give Jacinta a lift to Buenos Aires. Ruben’s demeanour suggests he was unhappy about this, let alone having Jacinta’s baby along too. It seems like a simple story; though that is deceptive. Impressively LAS ACACIAS forces you to engage with what is slowly unfolding on screen. The tone is meditative though it could be sinister or contemplative. Not to say it is wildly all over the place, the opposite in fact. It cleverly seems to encourage you to second-guess proceedings. Confidently put together and well acted, we have here a masterclass in what you can do with a two people, a baby and a truck. Take note and take heart low-budget filmmakers.