Chop Shop (2007)

RAMIN BAHRANI

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5

USA, 2007. , , . Screenplay by , Ramin Bahrani. Cinematography by . Produced by , , . Music by . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by Ramin Bahrani.

Director Rahmin Bahrani more or less remakes Man Push Cart with another tale of a character striving to get by in the unforgiving urban cruelty of New York city. Newcomer plays an orphan surviving the streets of the city who gets the chance to live a bit more securely when he gets a job helping out at a junkyard in Queens, his boss giving him a place to stay in the garage where they work. His sister Isamar comes to stay with him and he makes plans for them to save their money and buy a food truck that will make their lives better, but Isamar is enjoying her youth and making some reckless choices, and Alejandro is frustrated with his inability to control her. At an age where most children are still figuring out their understanding of the adults around them and themselves, Alejandro is playing a dangerous game thinking he can get anywhere in a world set up for him to fail. Bahrani once again brings a quiet, undetectable rhythm to the way he directs a series of unforced and seemingly natural interactions, but Polanco doesn’t have the natural charisma that (who plays a supporting role here) had in his previous film and doesn’t make for as compelling or interesting a subject.

Toronto International Film Festival: 2007

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