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Born and Bred
UKScreen Rating:

Born and Bred – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Santiago (Pfening) is a successful Buenos Aires architect, living with his beautiful wife and cute little daughter in a fantastic apartment. Everything’s perfect.
The family heads off to the country for a short break and CRASH. Life as he knows it is over.
Santiago retreats to the icy southern tip of Argentina, where he gets a job at a one-hut airport – the only gateway out of this desolate hell-hole.
The emptiness of the landscape matches the emptiness of his heart, as he struggles to rebuild his life without his wife and daughter, he forms new bonds with his colleagues and neighbours.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

This film certainly throws you – what starts out as a pretty slow family drama shocks you with a sudden crash that throws you completely off balance.
But coming out the other side is another film entirely – and the idea of a man struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one is hardly an original one.
Setting it in such a remote community didn’t particularly do much to address this.
The bleak landscape lends itself to some striking cinematography, but it’s so bleak that once you’ve seen it for about five minutes, you tire of it very quickly. There’s not very much to look at.
Short of watching Santiago mope around – having lost his family and found a rather bushy beard – there’s not much else going on.
He’s in pain. Of course. How does he come to terms with the pain? Get a job with a surreal bunch of losers at a remote airport. And? Well…nothing, really.
It’s not until he decides he’s had enough and finally heads back to try to recover his former life, that it finally looks like the film could be heading somewhere interesting. But just when it looks like it’s getting somewhere, the film stops.
Sometimes, leaving the audience to reach its own conclusion is welcome, but here you feel a little cheated. If the film-maker’s don’t have the courage of their convictions to come up with an ending, why should we have to do all the hard work for them?

opens nationwide 24th August 2007

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