DOUBLE-BILL REVIEW! CABRITO and ROSALITA
– By MovieCritic NextDoor
Despite sayings like misery loves company and two can live as cheaply as one, there’s nothing at all fun or cute about living in poverty. In Cabrito, one young man (Samir Hauaji) is trapped in the most abject poverty as he struggles to keep himself and his mother fed and with a roof over their heads. But while the son suffers mainly in silence, his mother can’t stop telling him over and over what a failure he is. He’s a terrible son who can’t even put food on the table, and all he has to look forward to is a trip straight to hell, since he refuses to follow his mother’s own warped religious beliefs.
But he at least has a girlfriend, so that’s good news, right? Except they can’t afford to get married and she has to support herself by working as a prostitute even though she’s pregnant. With her, the young man lets out the anger he keeps inside around his mother, so they scream at each other a lot but maybe that’s their way of showing affection. The only good news is that even though she can’t stop getting in little digs against her son, Mom seems to be looking forward to a grandchild.
But the son is also tormented while he sleeps — whenever he closes his eyes he has terrible dreams, and sooner or later anyone would break under that stress. And the way he breaks is both gruesome and fascinating. There’s a nightmarish quality to the entire movie, expertly portrayed despite being both just twenty minutes long and also done on a micro budget. With convincing acting and a knack of being gory without going over the top, this is a tantalizing beginning to a trilogy of short films that detail one unlucky man’s descent into horror.
I’ve always thought that one of the worst things about going truly insane is the fact that you’re unaware of what’s actually happening. If you thought the protagonist — because ‘hero’ is totally not the right word — of Cabrito was out of his mind before, then Rosalita will prove otherwise. This is a full-blown, wake up screaming nightmare compared to the bad and unsettling dream of Cabrito, which makes me really wonder what will happen in the third installment of the trilogy.
It’s been some time since the events of the previous movie, long enough for the unnamed son to fall further into depravity. He haunts the local bar, giving semi-coherent speeches about death to the bartender (Tairone Vale), which as you can imagine doesn’t make him terribly popular. But he’s also become a predator through and through, though it isn’t entirely clear whether he himself even fully realizes what he’s doing.
Again, there’s a goodly amount of blood and gore, but in many ways it’s also a tantalizing look at the psychology of a killer. He’s as much tormented as he is tormenting, still begging and yearning for a forgiveness he can never find while he’s lost in the labyrinth of his madness. Like its sister film it runs just under twenty minutes, but the film still does an admirable job of exploring these themes, with intense visuals and an overriding sense of hopelessness that pulls the viewer in. I am both intrigued and frightened of what the third installment might offer.