Un Cuento Chino [DVD]
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Roberto, un hombre marcado por un duro revés que arruinó y paralizó su vida hace más de veinte años, vive atrincherado frente al mundo y en completa soledad. Sin embargo, un día, un extraño acontecimiento logra sacarlo de su aislamiento y ponerlo de nuevo en contacto con la realidad.
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Top Customer Reviews
She tells me:
Roberto is a compulsive collector of weird news and a cow falls out of the sky in the opening.
While plane spotting he ends up helping a Chinese man ( Jun )who is being thrown out of a taxi. He attempts to help and ends up taking him home when all attempts to find the man's uncle fail.
The acting feels very natural and the characters and surreal humour grow on you as Jun tells his life story.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The relation between the hardware owner and this chinese imigrant looking for a distant relative in Argentinian lands is the heart and soul of this bittersweet story about loneliness and the effects of past extreme situations on our present lives. The story is so simple, so unpretentious and the leading actings so natural and fresh (specially in the case of the japanese youngster) that it soon conquers your reason and your feelings.
Wonderfully directed, true to life and inspiring, this chinese tale is a real MUST. As it does not concern local issues, the film will satisfy viewers from any foreign culture.
Don't miss it: it's a tiny, wonderful piece of jewerly.
The film opens in a beautiful scene in Fucheng, China where a young couple about to marry are on a picturesque little boat in the middle of a river, celebrating their future. Suddenly a cow drops out of the sky, smashes the boat, kills the girl and the young man Jun (Ignacio Huang) survives.
Jump immediately to Buenos Aires where we meet the bitter and methodic Roberto as a lonely owner of a hardware store. Roberto (Ricardo Darín) collects strangely bizarre worldwide happenings he finds in the many newspapers to which he subscribes and pastes them in an album as a hobby. The man who delivers the stack of newspapers has a sister-in-law Mari (Muriel Santa Ana) who has an unrequited love for Roberto, but Roberto is always evasive. One day, while watching the landing of airplanes at the airport, Roberto sees a Chinese lad named Jun being thrown out of a taxi: he helps the man to stand up. Jun does not speak Spanish and shows a tattoo with an address on his arm. Roberto heads to the address of the tattoo with Jun and discover that the place belonged to Jun's uncle that sold it three and half years ago. Roberto goes with Jun to the police station (where Roberto slugs the desk policeman for insisting that Jun spend the night in jail), to the China's embassy and to a Chinese neighborhood to seek out his uncle but it is a fruitless search. Roberto sees the only option is to allow Jun in his house (`for a certain number of days only!') and after a series of incidents, he finds a Chinese take-out delivery boy to translate for Jun.
Roberto explains to Jun through the translator that life is absurd, does not have any sense, and shares his hobby of the news he had collected including one about some men stealing cows in China with a plane and how a group of peasants follows and shoots the plane in flight, the plane's back door is opened, and two cows are dropped, one of them killing a girlfriend in a boat, who happens to be Jun's, as the translator then explains to Roberto. Roberto then shares his childhood reasons for his current worldview and they are dramatic. A series of incidents occurs in which Jun is able to payback the kindness of Roberto, but the major impact is the relationship that forms between Roberto and Jun, a relationship without language communication but with so much more. The small accidental ironies include the Latin American belief that what falls from the sky is usually a sign of good luck, and the final `gift' Jun leaves Roberto is a drawing of a cow's head on the back of Roberto's store - the space Jun ad cleaned for his room and board.
This is a delicate and very tender story and succeeds because of the sterling performances by Ricardo Darín, Ignacio Huang, and Muriel Santa Ana. Perhaps it doesn't `take a village' to make changes, but the reciprocity of two disparate people thrown together by fate certainly does. Grady Harp, November 12