107 minutes, Argentina-Chile-France-South Korea, 2010, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinema

Ricardo Darín, star of the twisty Oscar-winner The Secret in their Eyes, is surely one of the great leading men in world cinema. Specialising in protagonists who’re masculine yet vulnerable, cynical yet somehow redeemable, he has the right stuff to be on the Hollywood A-list except he’s told Tinseltown where to go. In the title role of his ace fellow countryman Pablo Trapero’s latest (for ‘Carancho’ read ‘Vulture’) he plays a disgraced attorney scraping by as an ambulance chaser who signs up road accident victims for a legal firm set to swindle them on the insurance pay-outs. 

The greedy collusion between lawyers and medical staff is so incredibly venal that it takes the breath away but Darín, as ever, is no angel, nor indeed is the hard-pressed, chemically-assisted young medic – played by hugely talented Martina Gusman (Lion’s Den) – who walks into his life. Can either of them ever find their way back to the light? Easy answers are few in this pulsatingly vivid modern thriller. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)


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