Genre: Drama, Thriller
Countries: Brazil, Poland, Spain
Language: Portugese, Spanish w/ English subtitles
Starring: Fele Martinez, Mariana Loureiro, Seu Jorge, Mauricio Garcia, Paca Gabaldon, Rosi Campos, Norival Rizzo
Director: Murilo Pasta
Run time: 100 minutes
DVD distributor: First Run Features
Carmo (Hit The Road) rests mainly on the performances of the two stars, Mariana Loureiro and Fele Martinez. Loureiro is enchanting as Carmo, the title character who wants nothing more than to get out of town and take off to…anywhere but here. Martinez is good as a wheelchair-bound smuggler, trying to get his truckload of stolen steroes out of Brazil. Together, they form a sort of uneasy alliance and head out on the road.
The movie begins with some stylistic similarities to Tarantino-esque films (the characters are all introduced with a flourish, the words written on the screen, even if they’re a…”BANK TELLER”). But it quickly loses the steam that comes from those quirks and becomes a pretty regular road movie with two mismatched protagonists who will learn to overcome their mutual animosity and so on and so forth.
Carmo and Marco meet up with the kind of people everyone encounters in a road movie – gangsters and gamblers and oddball inept thugs and cops and border guards. It’s all pretty standard, except for the one strange quirk that makes this movie different – Marco is in a wheelchair. This makes a few scenes, which otherwise could have been stark or harsh, almost comical. When Marco is going out to rough up the thugs who stole his truck, he brings his gun. But he also brings his wheelchair, which means he has to set it down on the ground and go through the awkward process of lowering himself into it before he can go wreak havoc on the bad guys.
It’s one of the stylistic touches that make Carmo interesting and a worthwhile viewing. Much of the film falls flat, but with a certain amount of flair and two strong performances, it succeeds overall. Carmo (Hit The Road) is on DVD now from First Run Features.