White Elephant - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

White Elephant Reviews

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Super Reviewer
December 27, 2016
Trapero delivers another hard-hitting drama with many wonderful long takes and Darín in a fantastic performance (as usual), depicting without concessions a hard reality where faith and commitment seem futile in a society dominated by an endemic neglect and lack of care.
September 3, 2016
Heftige en indrukwekkende film over twee priesters in krottenwijk van Buenos Aires.
April 2, 2016
Well-produced; dramatic and realistic.
½ June 20, 2015
good drama i dont think doc though
Super Reviewer
November 30, 2014
After barely surviving a village massacre, Father Nicolas(Jeremie Renier) returns to the city slums to rejoin Father Julian(Ricardo Darin) in his continuing work that goes beyond just their ecclesiastical duties. So, while the residents work on constructing their own housing, the priests get to handle the bureaucracy, aided by Luciana(Martina Gusman).

Proving once and for all that nothing can compare to location work, "White Elephant" seeks to tell a moving story about martyrdom in South America, while honoring a real life martyr at the same time. Even with some exquisite tracking shots, the fact that the movie is not as successful as it could have been is down primarily to its being more focused on Nicolas than on Julian, the more interesting of the two priests. Plus, while Jeremie Renier is certainly not chopped liver, compared to the great Ricardo Darin, one is free to choose whatever lunch meat metaphor wants.
½ July 11, 2014
Genial película de Pablo Trapero con la actuación de Ricardo Darín. Se trata de un grandìsimo hospital abandonado, convertido en un refugio de marginales. Un cura tratarà de salvar de la droga y el crimen a la gente, pero se enfrenta con una sociedad decadente, injusta, corrupta y peligrosa. Film bastante duro
½ May 14, 2014
Emotive social/spiritual drama.
March 15, 2014
Good story told in a realistic way but left me wondering uncertain as to why I would want to watch it.
January 16, 2014
A relatively slow and subdued attempt to show the stresses of religious belief and the realities of working in a poor neighbourhood within the church structure.
½ January 15, 2014
Predictable and very boring
January 14, 2014
I never heard of this film before, apparently it was released very limited, which is a pity, because it is a good film. It is gritty, brutal, and very well made. Not perfect, but I like it.
December 7, 2013
Understated, economical film making which highlight economical and political issues in Argentina, along with the role of the church among it.
September 17, 2013
Cruda, real, excelente
½ July 21, 2013
Cruda pero poderosa, Elefante Blanco nos muestra una realidad que muchos no ven, y la lucha enorme de los Curas Villeros para ayudar a la gente. No hay nada nuevo en el género, pero si es una historia fuerte con personajes y escenas que quitan la respiración, haciendonos refelexionar sobre "la otra realidad"del país.
April 14, 2013
Ricardo Darin: El Jesus Ochoa de Argentina.
Super Reviewer
½ April 14, 2013
Julian (Darin) and Nicolas (Renier) are two priests who, along with social worker Luciana (Gusman), work tirelessly to improve the lives of the inhabitants of an over-crowded Buenos Aires slum. With two rival gangs controlling the slum and the Catholic hierarchy showing more interest in political bureaucracy than helping the poor, Julian begins to doubt there is any point to his work. Meanwhile, Nicolas and Luciana are conducting a sexual affair in secret.
A couple of years ago, Argentine cinema came to prominence with the Oscar-winning 'The Secret in Their Eyes', a film which dazzled viewers with some of the most outrageous camera trickery ever seen on screen. There's obviously something in the waters of the River Plate that makes film-makers reinvent camera movement as 'White Elephant' also features a raft of "how the hell did they pull that off?" camera tricks. Trapero seems to defy gravity with tracking shots that are baffling in their intricacy. From a technical perspective, his film is a must-see for students of film-making. Those expecting an engaging drama with well written characters will have to look elsewhere.
Trapero's camera glides continuously through his unique slum setting, but never stops to let us get acquainted with any of its inhabitants. The slum-dwellers have no more depth than those we saw mowed down in 'Dredd' or 'The Raid'. The same goes for the two central priest characters. The elder priest, Julian's existential crisis is only touched on, while Nicolas leaves us with the frustratingly unanswered question of why a handsome young Northern European found himself in the priesthood. The subplot of his romance with Luciana is a well worn cliche where priesthood dramas are concerned. The film opens with the two priests escaping a massacre in a Latin American jungle but we never learn exactly what their involvement was here.
It seems strange that Trapero would make a film in this setting as it's one he seems to have little interest in. Focusing so much on dazzling camerawork, as he does, creates the impression he's using 'White Elephant' as little more that a "come and get me" plea to Hollywood.
½ March 26, 2013
Elefante Blanco is not an elephant.
½ January 26, 2013
De esas películas que se inspiran en la podredumbre humana buscando recovecos para hacer girar su historia con temas como violencia, drogas, pobreza, marginación, corrupción etc. buscando cimbrar al espectador, pero la verdad es que el desarrollo de su guión es muy perezoso y es lento de observar, lo cual hace que uno se distraiga y regrese a verla sin que haya pasado gran cosa. Resalta el buen uso del sonido y la actuación de Ricardo Darín como Julián
January 17, 2013
Podría haber sido mejor, pero es un un testimonio interesante de la vida en las villas de Buenos Aires
January 14, 2013
Una buena película que más allá del conflicto social ataca una temática bastante común en cada país del tercer mundo.... sea Sudamérica, la India o África, toda ciudad orgullosamente subdesarrollada tiene aquél mítico edificio que nunca se terminó, que gobierno tras gobierno se discutía y se intentaba finiquitar.
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