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The Amateur

An Argentine "Rocky" on a bicycle, this scatterbrained drama is too deflated for sports fans and not endearing enough to earn lovable-loser points. Item may win yellow jersey at home but won't take many heats abroad.

With:
With: Mauricio Dayub, Vando Villamil, Juan Verdaguer, Cacho Espindola, Walter Santa Ana, Alejandra Puy, Roly Serrano, Mirta Wons.

An Argentine “Rocky” on a bicycle, this scatterbrained drama is too deflated for sports fans and not endearing enough to earn lovable-loser points. Item may win yellow jersey at home but won’t take many heats abroad.

Alberto “Pajaro” Romero (Mauricio Dayub, who penned source novel) and his meat-packing pal Lopecito (Vando Villamil, wearing Burgess Meredith’s watch cap) live on the fringes of society. Amazingly, the trim Pajaro is given a shot at the Guinness Book of Records for continuous cycling, needing to pedal 130 hours over six days, with 20 minutes off each four hours. Pic promptly loses interest in setting up and executing the race in favor of comic interplay between the two pals and dead-end subplots involving gorgeous and fiery circus acrobat La Mora (Alejandra Puy) and Lopecito’s desire for an exotic, overweight dancer dubbed Jap-o-bese. Eliseo Subiela regular Dario Grandinetti generates more excitement in his uncredited, single-scene cameo than anyone save Puy, who dances on a table in the rain with predictable results. Tech credits are sharp, although clashing of gears is evident in jagged editing and a blaringly wearisome score (including four minutes of exit music).

The Amateur

Argentina

Production: An Aleph production. (International sales: Aleph, Buenos Aires, Argentina.) Produced by Juan Bautista Stagnaro, Marcelo Pavan. Directed, written by Juan Bautista Stagnaro, based on the novel by Mauricio Dayub.

Crew: Camera (color), Victor Quino Gonzalez; editor, Miguel Perez; music, Jaime Roos. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (Latin American Cinema), Sept. 3, 1999. . Running time: 94 MIN.

With: With: Mauricio Dayub, Vando Villamil, Juan Verdaguer, Cacho Espindola, Walter Santa Ana, Alejandra Puy, Roly Serrano, Mirta Wons.

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