Friday, April 23, 2010

Un Dia de Suerte (A Lucky Day)

I like a movie that gives a genuine feeling of life in a foreign place.  Since I'll probably never get to Argentina, and even if I get there I'd probably be relegated to touristy areas, I enjoyed the street-level view of Buenos Aires in Un Dia de Suerte.  As a cultural artifact, this movie is somewhat interesting, focusing on the lives of some poor young people trying to eke out a living during that country's economic crisis.  It was filmed against the background of the 2001 riots, giving it a gritty reality, and hinting at the broader economic issues the characters were facing.

The performanaces weren't bad, but I couldn't get into the characters or the story.  Elsa, the female lead, is pining for her Italian boyfriend with whom she had a brief romance when he was visiting Buenos Aires.  She is trying to earn money to move to Italy to be with him.  Even though she has a hard time making a living--the best laughs come from the scenes of her passing out samples of various products on the street--she has a close circle of friends, and a boy who is crazy about her.  But she is blind to what she has going for her in B.A., placing all her hopes on the faraway boy, who has probably forgotten all about her.
Elsa longing to be somewhere else.

I have always known people who were never happy where they are, always pining for someplace bigger and better.  Elsa is one of those.  We never find out if she finds happiness in Sicily, but I suspect if she finds a new circle of friends there, she'll learn that they have the same discontent that she has.  While watching this movie, I was pining for something better, too, so I can't really blame her.  Not a very good movie, but saved by the cultural, historical perspective.

Bottom line, 2 stars.

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