Saturday, October 22, 2011
Yan Vizinberg's new "take" on the trade, CARGO, the question is asked once again -- but this time not about these vicious guys (we're clearly growing used to them) but about the pair of characters who becomes the focal point of the movie: the young, kidnapped and, yes, abused Russian girl and the Egyptian Muslim driver who is transporting her from Mexico to her "buyer" in Brooklyn.
Trade to the more recent The Whistleblower), you'll know exactly what's going on each step of the way. And perhaps you'll be surprised that our heroine (played by Natasha Rinis, below) is so utterly clueless. Well, she does appear to be a sheltered mama's girl with little experience of the world. Still, hasn't she seen a movie or two along the way? Every move she makes, initially, at least, seems about as dumb as they come.
Sayed Badreya, below) whose first on-screen moment of importance indicates some decency to the character -- which would go against every other man we've seen so far. How, we wonder did he get a job with these people? All right: We don't quite believe these two from the get-go, but, hey -- let's give 'em a chance. We do. And they blow it. Repeatedly.
Phillip Willingham (above) with proper, hiss-able relish. The film ends with yet another meaningless statistic on the number of incidents of sex trafficking each year. We don't need another statistic. We need one truthful, well-told tale of sex-trafficking. Trade, despite some faults, came closest, and that was nearly five years ago (it made its debut at Sundance in 2007). It's time for another, but Cargo isn't up to the task.
Quad Cinema. I can find no other currently scheduled theatrical playdates, but perhaps a DVD (or some streaming) is in the offing.