Carla's Song

1996

Action / Drama / Romance / War

6
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 2621

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Robert Carlyle as George Lennox
Scott Glenn as Bradley
Gary Lewis as Sammy
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
832.33 MB
1204*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 7 min
P/S 0 / 4
1.7 GB
1792*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 7 min
P/S 2 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jackson Booth-Millard 4 / 10

Carla's Song

I think I'd seen a trailer for the film a long time ago, I remembered it mainly because of the leading actor, I was certainly interested to see what I would make of it, directed by Ken Loach (Kes, Sweet Sixteen, Looking for Eric). Basically set in 1987 Glasgow, Scottish bus driver George Lennox (Robert Carlyle) meets Nicaraguan woman Carla (Oyanka Cabezas), living a precarious, profoundly sad life in exile. They do eventually get closer, the first time they are about to make love George is shocked to see Carla's back is scarred, she explains that she is suicidal because her boyfriend is missing and her family has dispersed, George decides to take Carla back to Nicaragua to find out what has happened to them. Once there, Carla is haunted by nightmarish memories, she and George are thrown into the middle of the war between the United States and the Sandinistas, there is a mystery over where the boyfriend is, but Carla's American aid worker friend Bradley (Scott Glenn) is the key to his whereabouts, Carla does find her family in the end. Also starring Salvador Espinoza as Rafael, Louise Goodall as Maureen, Richard Loza as Antonio, Gary Lewis as Sammy, Subash Singh Pall as Victor, Stewart Preston as McGurk, Margaret McAdam as George's Mother, Pamela Turner as Eileen and Greg Friel as Keyboard Player. Carlyle, in between the time of Trainspotting and The Full Monty, gives a charming performance, Cabezas as the exotic refugee is alright, I agree with critics that their time in Scotland is interesting, but once they get abroad the film goes a bit downward, I have to be honest that I got a little bored, even with war stuff going on, overall it's a fairly forgettable romantic drama. It was nominated the BAFTA for the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film, and it was nominated the BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Feature Film. Okay!

Reviewed by juneebuggy 6 / 10

A two part movie

I really enjoyed the first part of this movie which takes place in Glasgow Scotland following Robert Carlyle as a double deck bus driver who falls for a Nicaraguan woman after she gets caught not paying the fare. "George" takes Carla under his care, finds her a place to live and her story slowly comes out as they fall in love.

Carla is emotionally tortured, as a Nicaraguan refugee she has witnessed much violence and devastation in her country's civil war. Eventually George buys them tickets back to Nicaragua so she can look for her family and a former lover, who was brutalized by the Contras during an ambush.

I didn't like the second half of this as much, although the volatile environment of the country is well portrayed it just didn't hold my interest. The characters got vague as this become more of a political vehicle then the drama/romance we had with in the first part.

In their search to find Carla's boyfriend they meet up with (Scott Glen), a bitter American aid worker who helps in the mystery of where her boyfriend is. As the war and violence takes over their lives, both of them have to make decisions. Ultimately I came away underwhelmed about the whole thing even though I think this movie was meant to move me on some level.

I always enjoy Robert Carlyle, he does a great job here and was the main reason I watched this. 3/18/16

Reviewed by Bryan Kluger 7 / 10

Carla's Song' such a unique film, despite its flaws.

Back in 1969, director Ken Loach made one of the best coming of age films, which is currently ranked in the number seven spot of ten films for the British Film Institute. That movie is called 'Kes', and is about a boy and his falcon. Criterion even added it to their collection. It was then that Mr. Loach came into the spotlight from directing television series to feature films and fell into his own unique style, which was focusing more on characters than anything else really.

Over the years, Loach has shown us the good and bad sides of ourselves, usually using some sort of political or social backdrop to tell his story, which is the case in his 1996 film 'Carla's Song'. This film is almost like two films in one, as it drastically takes a turn mid way through and offers up something different. The film follows a Scottish bus driver named George (Robert Carlyle), who wants more out of life than driving a bus and coming home to his fiancé. He seems to be a good man and thoughtful as he allows people who can't pay the bus fare on his ride. Perhaps he feels like a superhero to them, making the world a better place for people less fortunate than him.

He soon crosses paths with a Nicaraguan woman named Carla (Oyanka Cabezas), who he immediately seems very fond of, even though she can't afford to pay the fare for his bus, but he looks the other way. After their first encounter, he begins to see her everywhere, which we soon realize, he is pretty much stalking her. He never releases a creepy vibe, but we all know it's there, as he is very persistent to get to know her without being violent. It's a very strange and odd feeling to watch this character unfold, as we might expect something awkward or sadistic to happen at any moment.

Even when Carla pushes away his advances and tells George that she has a boyfriend back in Nicaragua that she hasn't seen in a while, he buys her and himself tickets to go find him, even though they are having a very weird love affair. This is where the film changes, as these two people enter Nicaragua during the U.S. backed Contra war against the Sandinistas. George finally sees all of the horrible chaos an destruction that Carla has been through by traveling to her home, as they look for her family and lover.

This is where George sees Carla for who she really is, and it takes a toll on him. Carlyle is great in this role and very different from his work in 'Trainspotting' and '28 Weeks Later'. You never know if you want to like or root for George, and Carlyle plays this mysterious "every man" to a tee. While the acting is spot on, the story and narrative loses its balance from time to time here. It's hard to focus on the first half of the film, and then change into something as drastic and chaotic as these two characters wander the streets of a war torn Nicaragua. Loach does tend to surprise us though with the abnormal ending and twists, which most filmmakers and studio executives today would not allow, which makes 'Carla's Song' such a unique film, despite its flaws.

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