Writer-Director Sebastián Borensztein serves up a delightful Argentine comedy-drama in Chinese Take-Away. Roberto (Ricardo Darín) is a lonely, emotionally cold and obsessive manager of a Buenos Aires hardware store; the type of guy that runs his life precisely by the clock. But Roberto’s methodical life is disrupted when he meets and reluctantly assists Jun (Ignacio Huang), a Chinese man who rolls up in Argentina unable to speak a word of Spanish, but sporting a tattoo with an address on his arm. More
The result is a touching tale of international bromance, peppered with warm humour and a quirky, offbeat take on life. It’s a character study that unfurls at its own leisurely pace and is perhaps best described as a Spanish Amélie, replete with kooky characters and wry observations of humanity. Like Amélie, Roberto is a dreamer. He collects bizarre 'true' newspaper stories, related in the movie as if Roberto were the protagonist of each strange tale. The film begins with the claim that it too is based on a 'true' story, and in many ways it is true to the strange way that, in life, we are best defined by how we treat other people.
In helping Jun when others turn a blind eye to this lost soul, Roberto slowly finds himself and helps Jun do the same. The leads play their roles with effortless naturalism and are ably supported by the rest of the cast, most notably the enchanting Muriel Santa Ana as Roberto’s neighbour and unrequited love, Mari.
Beautifully written and directed with assured pace, Chinese Take-Away is that rare gem; a film that simultaneously amuses, engages and delights – no mean feat. Hide