Carancho (Pablo Trapero, 2012)

What's it about? Sosa (Ricardo Darin) is an ambulance-chasing lawyer working for a low-life organisation which operates insurance scams. When he falls for hard-working paramedic Luján (Martina Gusman), his moral consicence is pricked and he decides to change his ways. But getting out of the business is not that easy.

Is it any good? I've yet to see Argentinian actor Darin give a bad performance (and I've seen, oh, at least 4 of his films) and he excels again here as the jaded lawyer who makes a living from a seedy business (carancho being the spanish word for vulture). Gusman is also good in a strong female role and it is these two lead performances that help pull in the viewer into their world, with the film concentrating on the characters and taking time to establish their relationship. It does lag a little around the mid-way point, but then it raises the stakes as it moves to a finale which develops slightly too fast to be entirely credible, but which is genuinely tense and exciting. It's a low-key, noirish depiction of an interesting aspect of a city's underbelly and, more importantly, has not one, but two, fantastic inside-of-car viewpoints of car crashes. Worth seeking out.

Anything else I should know? I wish I was as cool as Ricardo Darin. If you like him in this, you can also see him in the clever con-man film Nine Queens or in the absolutely superb thriller The Secret in My Eyes, one of the best films I've seen in recent years, which I've reviewed here.

What does the Fonz think? Quite literally car crash TV.

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