“Carancho” a tough-as-nails Argentine thriller

When young director Pablo Trapero shot "El Bonaerense" in 2002, he pushed the frontiers of socially realistic cinema in Argentina; with "Carancho," he returns to the same nitty-gritty terrain (the film is even shot in the same neighborhood) where police corruption is a given and survival depends on beating your rivals to a pulp before they hit on you.

Inspired by the sultry smooth atmosphere of Hollywood film noir, "Carancho" spills the beans about corrupt hospitals that allow unscrupulous lawyers to make a mint on other people's calamities.

Low-key is far from Trapero's esthetic, of course, and as co-editor he injects the film with the pummeling rhythm of a heavy metal session. Punishing for some, it could be just the cup of tea for the young male demographic.

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