Wednesday, 20th June 2012
The film starts with a man being beaten up outside what we quickly come to learn is a funeral. It seems that the man in question is a carancho, a vulture, who goes around trying to sign up people to his firm of lawyers following serious accidents that they've been in. Compensation culture is alive in Buenos Aires where a person's most likely form of death is through a car accident. Unfortunately for this particular ambulance chaser, as we term these people, he arrived a little too late to sign up this particular man and his family were not best pleased. This vulture is called Sosa and he is good at his job. He used to be a lawyer but he was struck off for reasons that we never come to learn of. Now he is reduced to being an ambulance chaser but not only that. He does chase ambulances, and seems to be on first name terms with all of the night time ambulance drivers in Buenos Aires, but he also arranges 'accidents' where those down on their luck can earn some healthy money by getting hurt. The thing is that Sosa is sick and tired of doing his job, it has worn him down completely and turned him into the sort of person that he can hardly recognise. One of the worst parts of the job is that its the law firm that he works for that gets the lion's share of the compensation instead of the people that were hurt in the accidents. On any particular case the company retains 75% of the money that they get. Of course the people involved don't know this, once they've been signed up by the firm by Sosa they are just given a cheque and sent on their way. That they get anything at all for their pain and suffering is a good thing as these people that sign up to the company are usually at the lower end of the social scale and as Sosa puts it what he does is a form of social welfare. However even though they seem to be quite happy with the amounts of money that they receive it would be a completely different matter if they ever found out the full size of the figures that they really should have received. Of course when there are such huge amounts of money involved there is a lot of scrapping over who gets what and the whole industry is cut throat with lawyers from various companies trying to hold on to what they have and if possible take some of what the opposition have. It is against all of this background that Sosa works. He is a decent enough man but knows that he could be living a better life. It is when he meets and falls in love with a doctor who starts work on one of Buenos Aires' night time ambulances that things really begin to solidify for Sosa and he starts to make real plans to leave the work that he is in. However there are just a few things that he has to get sorted out first. One of them is to arrange an accident for an old friend of his who is in desperate need of some cash. Sosa does this but the result is not one that he had reckoned on. The man dies as a result of the accident and Sosa is left feeling devastated. But he sees a way to redeem himself.
While at the hospital one night he comes across the aftermath of a large accident where several people died and many more were injured. Sosa believes that if he get the families involved the real compensation that they are entitled to then it would go some way towards redeeming himself. After a lot of talking and with the help of his doctor girlfriend who aided many of those injured he managed to sign all of the victims of this road crash up to him. This way he can begin to get himself reinstated as a lawyer as well as get the injured the money they deserve. But going against his old firm has repercussions. First he is given a beating and then his car is torched. However the real clincher is when his girlfriend is targeted. As you might expect in a film like this the girlfriend doesn't exactly come without baggage. She is a morphine addict but besides this she is a thoroughly upright character. When she is attacked and beaten Sosa goes ballistic and heads into his old office for a showdown with his old boss. Well it isn't so much as a showas afull on assault. Sosa doesn't even give him a chance to say anything before he starts battering him with a drawer of a filing cabinet. He starts to hit him with the filing cabinet and then continues to hit him and then continues to hit him and it takes much longer for it to dawn on Sosa then it does on the viewer that he has murdered the man. Now everything that he had been planning is gone, all changed by what he has done. He leaves the office but it isn't long before the police track him down. He is brought back to the office and there he meets a man called The Dog who heads up a rival law firm. He tells Sosa that he can make all the charges go away if only he will give him all the proceeds of the case that he is working on. The amount is in excess of half a million dollars. Its clear that he will have to do it, but what about his commitment to the victims who he has promised all the money to. If he does this he can hardly start his new life with a clear conscience but if he doesn't he won't have a new life. He agrees to do it. But of course there is going to be a twist and already knowing of Sosa's history of arranging accidents you don't have to be Einstein to figure out what it is going to be. However this isn't just your ordinary Hollywood movie and there is something else that happens that changes everything again. This is a first rate movie with a great story and absolutely wonderful acting and it comes as no surprise that a lot of the team including the actor who plays Sosa were part of the same film that won the Oscar for Best International Film a couple of years ago. The only thing that might put some people off this film is that it is subtitled but if that isn't a problem for you then you've got a great movie to look forward to.
If you decide to watch this film then you might want to know beforehand that it was originally intended to be shown in cinemas in 3D and therefore when you come to watch it on dvd most of the effects are rendered useless. This is a movie that revolves around action sequences and plot and story come a very, very poor second. But if you just have to watch this film then go out and buy a 3D t.v. but for the rest of us, just ignore it and watch something else.
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