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April 21, 2014

Actor Damián de Santo buys a one-way ticket to the shanty

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Never mess with a clergyman

By Julio Nakamurakare
Herald Staff

Good, facile entertainment it is, and surprisingly fresh, light-spirited, farcically comical, endearing and easy-going too. Office worker Pablo (De Santo), estranged from wife and kids and facing foreclosure on his apartment, spends his last two pesos on a Telekino lottery ticket hoping to score all numbers and scoop up a fortune. Following an incident involving petty theft, the Telekino ticket to Heaven lands in the wrong hands and soon becomes, er, precisely that: a hot ticket. Desperately seeking to recover his passage to salvation, Pablo enters potentially deadly territory: a shantytown peopled by prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, escaped convicts, kidnappers, the lot of them comically buffoonish.

Since the magical lottery numbers come to Pablo in a premonitory dream after a ridiculously failed suicide attempt, it is only fitting that he should escape machine gun shooting with the help of a fanciful, down-to-earth shanty priest (Ricardo Bauleo) who’s well aware that the road to Heaven, as they say, is paved with good intentions. But good intentions alone aren’t enough.

Unpretentious and utterly amusing, La boleta, with its promises of a safe conduct to riches, packs an unexpected succession of ingeniously scripted and well-acted mishaps piling one on top of the other. The end result is good old-fashioned entertainment in the guise of minor movie genre. La boleta, in fact, debunks most preconceived notions of comedy and vaudeville as lesser forms of entertainment for the masses.

PRODUCTION NOTES

La boleta (The Ticket). Argentina, 2013. Written and directed by: Andrés Paternostro. Cinematography: Rafael Menéndez. Music: Pablo Sala. With: Damián De Santo, Marcelo Mazzarello, Roly Serrano, Claudio Rissi, Diego Alonso, Mabel Pessen, Marcos Montes, Ricardo Bauleo, Andrea Estévez.

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