#Tribeca 2015 Remainders: Democrats in Zimbabwe, Albert Maysles on Amtrak

04/29/2015 9:15 AM |


Directed by Paz Fábrega

Paz Fábrega’s compact, lush Viaje centers on a pair of twentysomethings, Pedro (Fernando Bolaños) and Luciana (Kattia Gonzalez), attempting to find a place to drunkenly hook up following a rager at a mutual friend’s house. Their one long night together (as they’re still adorned in wacky costumes from the party) stretches into a handful of days as the pair burrow into the Costa Rican rainforest to camp out under the stars and attempt hashing out next steps—or not—following their endlessly postponed return to civilization. That the film routinely tips over into beyond-played indie klutz (say, an overlong, slapsticky timelapse of its protagonists trying to hail a cab) becomes a nagging afterthought whenever its follow-through stops dead in its own tracks, which is often. What’s most romantic in Fábrega’s film is its freewheeling spirit of “why not?”, organically extrapolating scenes in breathtaking real-time from what initially appear to be throwaway moments.

Of the episodes that comprise Pedro and Luciana’s lost weekend, it’s hard to say how much is choreographed for audience disorientation—what’s spontaneous and sexy, versus what merely looks so. An almost proudly romantic work, Viaje’s shoestring artificiality only becomes more apparent as it must reinvest time and again in its characters. Eventually, its success can only be determined along intimately personal lines such as: Are these actors charismatic enough? Is this love story interesting enough? If the film winds up feeling short in comparison to other great romances, the commitment and consistency of the film’s interrogation stand apart these fleeting missteps. Even if their epiphanies together ring false, Fábrega’s film probably carries more close-ups of two lovers looking at and talking to one another than you’re liable to see in any major romance this year (one-night-stand comedy or otherwise).

The film is currently seeking US distribution.

One Comment

  • What’s ironic about this hackneyed “taut, riveting, bravua, gripping, pulse-pounding, hard-boiled, a roller coaster of emotion” comment: pther than riveting, none of these adjectives actually apply to this documentary. What you are describing sounds like the form, shape and pace of a Paul Greengrass film and Nielsson’s movie has none of that energy or pulse. Mind you it’s still great, but this is just like word vomit?