"Carmo, Hit the Road" is a screwball Brazilian road movie with a few screws loose.

“Carmo, Hit the Road” is a screwball Brazilian road movie with a few screws loose. Freshly set in the Wild West along the border with Bolivia and Paraguay, this devil-may-care romp spins on an impulsive love-hate tryst of convenience between a Brazilian vamp and a wheelchair-bound Argentinean lowlife. Debuting feature helmer Murilo Pasta, who’s directed much British TV, throws everything he can think of into the pot; some ingredients come out overcooked, some raw and a few just right. Pic might fly in some South and Central American markets, but is too erratic to get far in Yank or Euro release.

At loose ends and keeping very gamey company, slim and sexy Carmo (Mariana Loureiro) hooks up with cranky Marco (Fele Martinez), whose truckload of hot merchandise was stolen by two other lowlifes. Many cars, chases and breakups later, they’re still at it, albeit unsure what they really want from one another. Pasta’s shotgun approach, inspired by the wildest stylings of Leone, Fellini and Tarantino, is initially amusing but feels increasingly arbitrary as the pic’s fuel supply nears empty. Locations and live-wire Loureiro rep its two greatest assets.

Carmo, Hit the Road

Brazil-Spain-Poland

Production

An Imagina Intl. Sales (Spain) presentation of a Contraluz Films (Spain)/Magia Filmes Producoes (Brazil)/Gremi Film (Poland) production, in co-production with BR-3 Films, with the participation of Ancine/ICAA/ICIC/TVC/ICD. (International sales: Imagina Intl. Sales, Madrid.) Produced by Xavier Granada, Alberto Aranda, Roberto D'Avila, Murray Lipnik, Grzegorz Hajdarowicz, Elisa Alvares. Executive producers, D'Avila, Granada, Justyna Pawlak. Directed, written by Murilo Pasta.

Crew

Camera (Technicolor), Robbie Ryan; editor, Nacho Ruiz Capillas; music, Zacarias M. de le Riva; art director, Marie Lanna; costume designer, Iraci de Jesus. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (World Cinema -- competing), Jan. 23, 2009. Spanish, Portuguese dialogue. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Fele Martinez, Mariana Loureiro, Seu Jorge, Marcio Garcia, Paca Gabaldon, Rosi Campos, Norival Rizzo, Nanda Costa, Thais Fersoza, Kiko Bertholini, Clarissa Kiste.

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