Las Acacias is a small Argentinian export set almost entirely inside a lumber hauling truck. There are three characters: grizzled old Ruben (the driver), nervous Jacinta (the passenger) and screamy/smiley baby (the, er, baby). Together they take the roadtrip of a lifetime, from somewhere in Parauary to sunny Buenos Aires. Along the way they, er, do some driving, sleep, drink some water, stop at a gas station, make a phone call, drink with a straw and, crucially, find themselves.
If this review is starting to sound like bullshit that’s because Las Acacias is an almost silent 90 minutes of truck driving, without even stopping to take in the beautiful South American scenery. Our hero, Ruben, is a painfully taciturn lumberjack who, by the end of the movie, seems to have a tiny, very quiet flame of passion for Jacinta who, in all probability, thinks he’s a bit of a pervert. Where European cinema has mastered the art of the significantly silent opening, here the silent first twenty minutes are painfully self indulgent; you’ll be familiar with the inside of his car but little else.
The film does pick up later on and there are things to be admired in the restraint of the film. There’s no conflict, there’s nothing interesting that happens on the road to Buenos Aires and therefore, if you’re seeing this film you’re seeing it for that sense of human honesty and captive emotions. The trouble is that there are much, much more interesting ways of viewing and experiencing this phenomena than watching Las Acacias which, in everyday terms (which it would surely like), is the equivalent of standing on a motorway bridge and watching the cars go by and, whilst we’re at it, calling that narrative.
An extremely slow, restrained film that might inspire some people and make others broody, but will bore the rest of us to tears.
|Starring:||German de Silva y Hebe Duarte|
|Running Time:||Don't be deceived|