Unlikely Couple on the Run in Carmo, Hit the Road


In the Brazilian film Carmo, Hit the Road, writer-director Murilo Pasta has crafted a road-movie-meets-heist-film driven less by the giddy kick of breaking the law or outwitting really bad guys (though there is that) than by sobering insights on female sexuality. The first 10 minutes alone offer potent commentary—ranging from playful to brutal—on the currency of female sexuality, the ways women wield it, and how it can be used against them. The result is an indigo mood that lingers over most of the film. Carmo (Mariana Loureiro), a young woman of ill repute, is broke and desperate to flee her small town when fate repeatedly places her in the path of Marco (Fele Martínez), a temperamental but resourceful paraplegic hustling stolen goods. Carmo’s grating personality (for both the viewer and Marco) creates push-pull tensions between the two, complicating matters when she and her reluctant white knight must flee a pair of violent henchmen (one of whom is a sex-crazed queer bandit, played by Seu Jorge). All the while, a mysterious female crime boss hovers in the background. The rocky relationship between Carmo and Marco evolves slowly and believably as the stakes rise in their criminal undertaking. Pasta films it all, including dazzling stretches of South American landscape, with a painter’s eye for color and the intriguing faces of his extras.

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