Review: Las Acasias (12A) ****

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The confined cab of a truck should not be the birthplace of high drama.

In fact there should be little chance of seeing any fireworks in such a claustrophobic locale – unless one is watching a horror film.

Las Acasias is not in any way a horror movie. Instead it boasts a quasi-theatrical feel as a taciturn driver and a young mother gradually bond over the course of a long journey.

Yet Las Acasias is not your average road movie. Nor is it a thrill ride packed with incident. It is, however, a delightful slice of life that rewards the patient viewer.

Germán de Silva is Rubén, a solitary, middle-aged man used to fending for himself who agrees to take Jacinta (Hebe Duarte) and her infant daughter, Anahí, on a long journey from Asunción del Paraguay to Buenos Aires.

It should be a nightmare and, at first, Rubén’s reluctance at sharing his cab with (paid-for) passengers is apparent. But, with the open road laid out before them and nowhere else to go, Rubén gradually begins to warm to his attractive, much younger travelling companion.

A movie as much about the landscape of the heart and soul as it is about the landscape of the Americas, Las Acasias hints at the hidden depths of everyday men and women and shows how even the thickest hide can be penetrated by kindness and innocence.

It is no surprise to say that Rubén slowly thaws. Perhaps inevitably he exhibits tenderness toward mother and baby. And there is humour, too, as the grizzled fiftysomething discovers anew the joy of children.

Director/co-writer Pablo Giorgelli has the discipline to allow this slow-burn almost-romance to play out naturally.

Performances are a delight and the cab interior provides much fulfilment. Who’d have thought it?

On limited release