Argentine superstar Ricardo Darin, the romantic judicial investigator in 2010’s Oscar-winner “The Secret in Their Eyes,” shifts gears with the sentimental buddy comedy “Chinese Take-Away” (“Un Cuento Chino”).
By COLIN COVERT
Minneapolis Star Tribune
This time he plays Roberto, a solitary, methodical Buenos Aires shopkeeper who would rather tend to his news clippings about bizarre accidents than engage with his sociable neighbors. Since he views life as “a big ball of nonsense,” why should he expose himself to its absurdities?
Then fate places Jun (Ignacio Huang), a befuddled Chinese tourist, in Roberto’s path. Friendly, guileless Jun begins to erode Roberto’s stern reserve, and he experiences a sense that companionship might not be such a burden after all.
Jun’s Mandarin dialogue isn’t subtitled, but Huang’s expressive performance makes translations unnecessary. Darin and Huang are an acting dream team. The film has a heartwarming core shot through with black humor, as director Sebastian Borensztein re-creates the zany calamities recorded in Roberto’s scrapbooks.
(“Chinese Take-Away” won the best film award and the audience award at the Rome International Film Festival and recently played at the Kansas International Film Festival. It opens today at the Glenwood Arts.)