Bombon El Perro Review

Juan "Coco" Villegas (played by an eponymous actor) has hit hard times. He's lost his job as a Petrol Station attendant and now at the age of 52, no-one is ready to take a chance on him. He's been trying to diversify - he now makes beautifully crafted knife-handles out of rare wood but no-one seems to be able to afford them when there are cheap plastic imports flooding the market. So he spends his days driving about either looking for work or trying to sell his knives, both unsuccesfully. One day he helps out a young woman whose car has broken down. Being of a generous slant and having time to kill, he tows her car back to her home, 150 kilometres away. Touched by his generosity, the lady and her mother have little to offer him but an Argentinian Dogo that their late father and husband bought before he passed away. Coco accepts the gift and as he returns to town, his life starts to change through the dog - for the better but also for the worse.



Set in Patagonia, the film reflects the dog it follows in so many ways - it meanders, sometimes gets slightly lost but inevitably finds its way home and looks stunning (if you're into unusual looking dogs/films). Though filmed on a very tight budget, what they lacked in finance is made up with warm and organic performances from the lead actors, Juan Villegas and Walter Donado. Villegas in particular is wonderfully cast - even his face tells his character's story of loss and disappointment, while still retaining an almost naive belief that things will work out. It's often easy to get disconnected from the characters that get projected on the silver screen but here it seems impossible to not identify with them - their concerns, their exilaration and their highs and lows become ours. Exhuding from the celluloid is that je-ne-sais-quoi that differentiates the cold mechanics of a money-making pile of junk from a lovingly honed labour of love - El Perro is pure cinematic gold: touching without any heavy-handedness, profound but still engaging, brilliant but understated.

The DVD

The image:
The image is good though not fantastic with a natural rough grain. Annoyingly they've transferred the subtitles directly onto the print which isn't ideal. The warm tones of many scenes do transfer well and generally it's an effective transfer.


The sound:
We get a good stereo mix of the film which is pretty much in keeping with the film's rough and ready style. No major problems here.




The extras:


  • Notes on the film (20 mins): A dicussion with the crew about the plot, the casting, the filming etc. It's well worth the time to watch it but it does contain spoilers so be warned!

  • Making of (15 mins): This is much more of a behind the scens look at the filming. No commentary at all and I suppose one for the technically minded viewers...


Conclusions:
Bombon El Perro is one of those warm-hearted films that manages to balance realism and emotions with agility. The DVD is good without being outstanding but comes with some decent extras.

Film
8 out of 10
Video
7 out of 10
Audio
7 out of 10
Extras
5 out of 10
Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 24/06/2018 00:05:54

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