R | 101 min | Drama, Western
Language: Spanish w/ English Subtitles
Review - Matt Mungle
**In theaters July 17, 2015**
Synopsis: A mysterious man emerges from the Argentinean rain-forest to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a poor farmer after mercenaries murder her father and take over his property.
Review: When we first meet Kaí (Gael García Bernal) he simply walks out of the forest looking for a job on a local farm. There he meets Vania (Alice Braga) the daughter of the farms owner. You immediately learn that all the farms are in jeopardy of ruthless mercenaries coming in and savagely taking the land. Soon the show up to this farm and kill the landowner and kidnap Vania. Kai pursues them into the rain-forest in search of Vania and with a plan of revenge.
This is an odd story and even though the characters are mysterious and dramatic nothing really every unfolds. The first hour of the film contains lots of walking and very little talking. You start to get a glimpse of the world Kai is from but even then you wonder if there is more to the story. The filmmakers keep offering up these little nuggets of intrigue or curious happenings that keep you invested. But you slowly watch the time tick away with little or no payback. With about 30 minutes left the action intensifies but sadly it is over as quickly as it came.
The acting is on par for Bernal and Braga. With very little dialogue most of the emoting is in facial expressions and body gestures. These they both due with convincing results. Do not let the poster full you into thinking there is a lot of attraction between the characters. Yes you get the essence of mutual longing but it takes the back seat to survival. This is a film about defending what is yours. It isn't original or groundbreaking. It just tells a common story. Oh and there is a tiger. But don't worry about that.
ARDOR is rated R for violence, some gruesome images and a scene of sexuality. That is surprising considering the lack of overall action. Granted the fight scenes that are here are graphic but not too hard to stomach. I give it 2 out of 5 land deeds. It is hard to find exactly what is wrong with it. There is simply just no meat on the bone.