Un Oso rojo (Red Bear) (2004)
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Critic Reviews for Un Oso rojo (Red Bear)
A passable, although unremarkable, exercise in crime-drama formula.
It works mainly because of the strong presence of the imposing figure of Julio Chaves as the Bear, in a brilliantly understated performance.
Audience Reviews for Un Oso rojo (Red Bear)
A surprisingly restrained story of a criminal returning from prison in hopes of being reunited to his daughter. Some remarkable scenes focusing on the relationship between father and daughter, some explosive scenes centering on the violence he commits for the sake of his daughter. But also a lot of dead space.
(***): [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] Interesting and well-acted.
Oso (Bear) is a very bad man-- a cop killer (or at least an accomplice to same) who is being released after he's served his term (this seems like such an odd idea to me as an American-- a cop killer being released after a term of imprisonment rather than getting the death penalty or life imprisonment). But of course he's redeemed by the love of his family, though his estranged wife has taken up with a new man. All the same, he wants to get her his part of the cash from the job that got him in the slammer. Chaos ensues. One is reminded of the FX TV series The Shield-- there is much murder and mayhem, but our antihero is someone who's committed to, as Vic was on The Shield, taking care of his estranged wife and family. Vic of course was a cop, but then again El Oso Rojo is full of corrupt cops so you don't really notice the difference very much; that is, that Oso is a criminal. Oso, played by Julio Chavez, bears some resemblance to Jason Statham-- dark, brooding, such that essentially the movie is a meditation on Chavez's hypermasculine scowl and lack of other obvious affect, intensified by his shaved head and scar on his right (or was it left?) brow. If the movie is taken at face value, I am given to believe that firearms are widely available in Buenos Aires and its surroundings. Given all that, of course, I loved it. But don't think this is some foreign art-house movie. This one review on the official website for the film is entitled "Argentina as the Wild, Wild West." That reminded me of one of Oso's best lines, "toda la guita is afanada," essentially, "all money is stolen money." As a final note, I feel required to say that unlike most Argentine most, the Spanish in El Oso Rojo borders on incomprehensible at times for non-native speakers (of course it's subtitled). It may require another viewing for that reason alone. Apparently Buenos Aires' lower-class suburbs have a language all their own.
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