Eye For Film >> Movies >> Bombon: El Perro (2004) Film Review
Life in the Patagonian desert can be pretty bleak, especially if you're a 52-year-old gas station attendant, who has lost his job and has nothing to his name but a truck. Meet Juan Villegas (Juan Villegas). Although he drives around the desert trying to sell handmade knives to anyone who will give him the chance, he is barely making ends meet and his imposition at his daughter's house is becoming more evident day by day.
All of this changes one afternoon when he stops on the highway to help a woman, who's Mercedes has broken down. In exchange for his help he receives a strange and wonderful gift that unknowingly gives him the new start he has been looking for: Bombon Le Chien.
Juan and Bombon, a pure bred Dogo, soon attract the attention of a canine enthusiast, who encourages Juan to show the young dog with the help of Walter (Walter Donado), an energetic trainer. When Walter convinces Juan to enter Bombon in a local dog show, he creates a new career path that solidifies the friendship between man and dog, one of the most important friendships a person can have.
This is a heartfelt, authentic film that doesn't try to wow you with witty dialogue, or impress with fancy costumes. It is as basic a story as you can get and that is what makes it so remarkable. The scenery, though bleak, is breathtaking and the acting so genuine and realistic that you often forget that you're not watching a documentary.
Villegas was actually the parking lot attendant near the director's production company in Buenos Aires before being asked to do this film and his inexperience brings an innocence and simplicity to the screen that is endearing and lovely to watch - he even won a Best Actor Award in Nantes! The dog trainer Walter's energy is infectious and serves as the perfect foil to quiet, unassuming Villegas. As for the Bombon, he can't help but steal the show, whether riding shotgun in the truck, or tied to a lamppost - what can I say? I'm a dog person,
This is not intended as an action picture, so don't go expecting fast-paced montages. The story of Villegas' transformation is slow and deliberate, as must be the film that chronicles it.
Prepare to be touched Bombon and don't be surprised if you pick up a nice treat for the domestic pet on the way home.Reviewed on: 17 Jun 2005
If you like this, try:My Life As A Dog