A glimpse of street life in Argentina
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/31/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"SMOKERS ONLY is a low budget film that creates a mood, an insider's view of street existence of alienated kids in Argentina. Simply stated, this is the story of a young male hustler who sells himself in ATM areas in full view of the public, that public including a young girl singer who is an 'outsider'. She observes his tricking in public places with whatever men are interested in the dalliance and approaches the hustler in his own environment. She does not want to pay for for physical love but is clearly attracted to him, as he is to her. She meets his fellow hustlers, eventually does a three way as a street walker, but has fallen in love with her hustler and dreams of something better. The hustler admits that his vocation makes him feel desired and important and he is loathe to give it up. The girl is last seen aboard a train, just staring at the moving landscape.A great movie, no. But Director Chen has used a very straight-forward approach in her examination of kids of the streets. Her camera man gets a bit carried away with movement but does seek out and find the sleezy nocturnal void that represents the lives of these 'children of the night'. In Spanish with subtitles. Not rated but while the film is about street life physical encounters, the seemy side of activity is sensitively and discretely shown in black and white as 'captured' by a guard video camera: documented reality but strangely otherworldly. The music score is as bizarre as the tale......."
Not for the slow witted or for those with Attention Deficit
Aparato SuperSonico | Orlando, FL | 07/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It doesn;t boast a Hollywood budget, and the film could have been improved in a few ways here and there, still it is a very good film that impressed me enough to but the DVD as soon as it came out. No regrets. This is an art film, with a sort of twisted romantic side, in the merciless and gritty streets of Buenos Aires. I appreciated this film even more since it did not deal with the usual subjects: The Dirty War, The Economic Depression, Peronism, or The General Misery the People (everyone looks old and disheveled in 90% of Argentine films). Worth the money, worth the time, I would like to see, eventually a sequel, and more films by Ms. Chen (director) and this fine cast, especially Ms. Bengolea. At thye time of this review I saw that "Agua" ("Water"), was just released in Feb 2007 in a film festival, Veronica Chen's second feature film. I hope it is a good one. Since I live in Orlando, FL, it is almost impossible to see a film like this in a movie theater, therefore I can either go to Miami to see them, or wait until they come out on DVD. Those of you who live in larger cities, count yourselves lucky!"