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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Bombon El Perro [DVD]
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on 31 May 2017
Great film. Really enjoyed. Lovely dialogue at times.
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on 12 March 2017
I first saw this film ten years or more ago on the telly (my only time of watching it before obtaining this DVD) and had always had fond memories of it, and especially of Juan Villegas – the main actor and (same name) main character and of his new found friend, Bombón (el perro).

Juan, even though he is down on his luck has a smile that is ever present while the potentially fierce Bombón just seems to look on ever placid, and although it is a film where not a great deal happens in a way, it is an imensly enjoyable film, and one definitely worth watching again.

On the DVD you get:

“Bombón el Perro” (1 hour 33 minutes) (Embedded English Subtitles)
Scene Selection
Notes on El Perro (20 minutes) (Embedded English Subtitles)
Making Of (14 minutes) (Not subtitled)
Trailer (Embedded English Subtitles)
Trailers for other releases
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on 5 April 2015
Some human faces reflect inner purity. The eyes shine and laugh a little. The smile is gentle, serene, the manner of the person calm, unhurried. The effect suggests decency and goodness, which invites trust. We like such persons almost instantly and feel good about liking them. And we think it but don't say it out loud that we wish more people in the world were like this.

Juan Villegas is like this. You like him from the start when you see him. You like Bombon too, his dog. They are similar. Both are quiet, patient, accepting. Both have simple outlooks, taking the days as they come. Both are outcasts too: Juan from his daughter who is selfish, demanding, petty; Bombon from his former owner who neglected him. Fate brings them together. Juan drives an old beat-up land rover. Bombon rides shotgun. Neither wears a seat belt. Both, in their way, are free. Juan has no job; Bombon has no worries. They become buddies. Thus the road is theirs, long and open, and they make the most of it.

The land is Argentina and goes on forever, stopped only by the sky. Through this immensity they travel. On the surface their journeys look aimless and might be at first. But fate intervenes again and brings a certain logic to them. Juan was a car mechanic before, but there's no work now. Lately he has been carving wooden handles for kitchen knives. He drives around trying to sell both. But this is northern Patagonia, a land where people are few in number and poor.

When he was alone people almost looked through him. He was there but not substantially so. He was unremarkable, and therefore not noticeable. But this changed when Bombon arrived by chance on the scene. A big white dog, an Argentine Dogo with small pointed ears that stick up, he commands attention and becomes a talking point with others. How old is he? How long have you had him? Does he always travel with you? He looks strong and calm, is he? What do you do with him?

Juan didn't know much about dogs. He had never had one before. His daughter thought he was crazy when he brought Bombon home. She sees him sitting in the vehicle, his tongue hanging out. He looks back at her through the dirty windscreen. Her immediate thought reflects her character: How are we going to feed it? Juan hears this and leaves with Bombon. They will live elsewhere, away from the selfish daughter, which means on the road or the floors of other people.

In this fashion, through the strange alchemy of fate, Juan falls into a new profession as dog owner and exhibitor at dog shows. Bombon has strength and character, the product of good breeding. He is regal in his bearing. People notice this, and to Juan's surprise Bombon wins some show prizes. With these come a growing reputation. Word spreads and other dog owners want to meet him. They would like his seed. They want to perpetuate his line for themselves.

Such money is nothing Juan has ever seen before. He couldn't have expected it. But its existence hardly changes his own. His character is already set. He is easy in his own skin.

The film is quiet, subtle, clever. Through Bombon it comments on the quality of human life that surrounds the dog. Certain values are exposed, especially those related to money and status. It's been said we don't see reality, only our ideas of it. This film explores that truth. Juan is the man we have loved from the beginning. He is worthy as a man to us. But we are in the minority in feeling this way. Others we meet in the film know and like him as dog owner first, man second. In other words, label over substance, definition over essence, profession over man.

But luckily the filmmaker has compassion. The film is not dark and tragic. In fact, quite the opposite. If Juan's ungracious, ungrateful daughter cannot love him, Bombon can in his canine way. We don't know where Juan's wife went. She either died or left him emotionally. He is now about 50, past his prime. Yet, paradoxically, everything feels fresh and new. The different present may lead to a different future.

The film ends on the road. The last view we see is the vastness stretching out before us. The highway reaches a vanishing point, though the mountains in the distance remain, as does the sky above us. In every way — earthly and human — beauty surrounds us and we feel happy.
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on 6 May 2007
Bombon is the story of a gentle, kind 52 year old man, Villegas, who is made redundant and forced to live with his daughter and her husband. In return for a kind deed he is given a pedigree dog, Bombon.

Despite Villegas initial reluctance in accepting the dog (in fact he does not have the assertiveness to refuse) he develops a relationship with the dog that surprises him.

The dog attracts admirers, who break down Villegas modest reticence and loneliness. Slowly, Villegas regains his confidence and pride.

This is a gentle character study: sweet and charming, utterly heart-warming, and surprisingly funny in places. It is also beautifully shot, with restrained performances from all the cast, relying on little dialogue.

A little gem.
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on 9 February 2006
It's not often that I have the patience to watch a film with sub-titles, but I'm glad I made the effort with this film.
When an Argentinian petrol pump attendant loses his job after 30 years he feels that his life has no direction. With his wife dead and a married daughter who barely tolerates him living in her home, he tries to scrape a living by selling knives with handles that he carves himself. With little success, he craves human contact and keeps his dignity by doing favours and showing kindness to strangers.
After giving a woman a hand repairing a car he is offered a very big dog as payment. The arrival of the dog makes him the centre of attention from a diverse cast of characters and the story follows him and the dog as they develop a bond and help each other to find their place in the world.
This is a touching and moving film that is helped by excellent performances from practically everyone who appears on the screen. Shot in Patagonia, the beautiful but desolate landscapes emphasise the feeling of isolation that the man feels. A haunting score, written and performed by the directors son, portrays the loneliness and subsequent triumph of a man whose direction was lost and then found.
While this film isn't going to change your life, it is well worth 90 minutes of your time as a change from the usual Hollywood output and I defy you not to feel good about life, and the human spirit, by the closing credits.
The extras on the DVD include some interesting, but eventually repetitive, interviews with the creative team where we discover that none of the cast are actual actors but intead were members of the public chosen by the director to appear because of the way they looked. This makes the performances all the more remarkable.
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on 24 May 2006
What an absolute delight this film is! Director Carlos Sorin is skilled at giving us movies with believable characters who by a quirk of fate find themselves in unusual situations. His message seems to be that a good person will eventually be rewarded but he knows that although we really want to believe this for Coco the reality in countries like Argentina is that good doesn't always win. The film perfectly captures the bleakness of Patagonia but remains warm and uplifting. Contrasts play a big part in this story. Essentially it's a film of hope and friendship lit up by some lovely little moments. The naïve, old man who has only known simple pleasures and the big meek loveable dog make a terrifically engaging partnership.
I enjoyed every minute of this terrifically appealing film and recommend you try it as i'm sure you will too.

A trivia fact: Most of the cast are complete amateurs with no acting experience. Coco himself had actually been director Sorin's car driver for many years. It helps explain the natural emotions shown and why the film has the realistic feel it does.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 November 2007
A very enjoyable film full of humour and good acting, especially by the dog! The story builds up to a great ending that I won't spoil for you.
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on 23 May 2006
This little film is just the thing to leave you feeling heartened about being a human being. Beautifully shot in a ravishing Patagonian landscape, the setting is almost another character. The acting possesses a depth and innocence we may be unused to with our endless diet of celebrity models on film. Here people are people and incredibly beautiful in a way where age is not denied. The central performance by Juan Villegas is astounding. Highly recommended
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on 30 August 2008
"Bombón: El Perro" (= "Bombón: the dog") is a film by Carlos Sorín, a well-known Argentine director who was also behind "Historias mínimas".

The heart of this road movie is the relationship between a man and his dog. Juan (played by Juan Villegas), is an old mechanic down on his luck that was sacked and can't get a new job, due both to his age and to the economic crisis affecting the country. Everything starts to change for him when, thanks to an act of politeness, he receives a purebred Argentine Dogo as a gift. That very big white dog he didn't want at first will become his good luck charm, and eventually a reason to hope for a better future. The two unlikely friends will begin a journey thoughout the harsh but beautiful Patagonia in search of new opportunities for Coco, meeting new people along the way.

I can say that I enjoyed this simple but heartwarming movie, and that I believe you are likely to appreciate it too, if you are in the mood to watch something that strikes true.

Belen Alcat
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on 7 August 2006
As you will have seen from the other reviews, this is a story about a man who is given a dog in return for helping a stranger.

The story was very enjoyable, but what surprised me was how cynical I had become having been force fed Hollywood nonsense for so long and how I was pre-set to anticipate certain events or reactions. Bombon surprises you at every turn.

I thought this was a wonderful film. A real unexpected gem.
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