Carmo, Hit the Road

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Carmo, Hit the Road

Fleeing the clutches of her hypocritical, hyper-Catholic mother, Carmo (Loureiro) hitchhikes her way to a living hell of haphazard parking-lot hookups. Then she meets Marco (Martnez), a scruffy smuggler who mopes around in a wheelchair. And we're off---on a frenetic, ham-fisted tour through the grimiest stretches of Brazil and Bolivia, leaving no crass stereotype behind (witness drunk, unkempt Brazilian men ass-grabbing ladies with knives unsheathed) and no bodily function unrecorded. It's the type of movie that thinks blending adolescent in-yo-face shock tactics with big-sky romanticism automatically equals some unique hybrid---like Y Tu Mam Tambin as directed by Mysterious Skin's Gregg Araki.

The story's dance of repulsion and attraction between this paraplegic hustler and beautiful, boozy runaway moves through all manner of episodic unpleasantness---like recurrent run-ins with rape-happy gargoyles---but the film settles into a surprisingly tender and persuasive affair. Yet director Murilo Pasta's maximalist approach repels any emotional investment, even as Loureiro and Martnez make for an appealing screen couple among the appalling settings. Robbie Ryan's hyper-stylized, Hipstamatic-quality cinematography offers some surface pleasures, but ultimately Carmo, Hit the Road would rather send a flurry of tacky postcards than truly take you somewhere.

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By: Eric Hynes

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