Directed by Carlos Sorin, starring Juan Villegas, Walter Donado, Rosa Valsecchi, Mariela Díaz and Claudina Fazzini.

Carlos Sorin likes to use real people and real places in his fictitious stories. Enter Juan Villegas and Walter Donado, playing Juan Villegas and Walter Donado, who live in the dry lands of Patagonia, Argentina.

52-year-old Juan has lost his job at a petrol station, after 20 years of service, and starts making crafted knife handles in a bid to earn a living. Even though the knives are not selling, Juan remains calm, but unhappy and unfulfilled. One day Juan helps out a stranded motorist; she repays him for his kindness by offering him a dog. It's a gigantic, white pure-bred Dogo Argentino named Bombón.

Bombón opens doors of opportunity for Villegas. One man's interest in the dog lands Juan in a security guard job. A banker suggests he should show the dog in competitions. The impressionable, go-with-the-flow Juan is then put in contact with enthusiastic dog trainer Walter Donado. Walter is vivacious, has instant dreams for the dog and the motivation to follow them up. Their interest in the dog creates a bond between the two men. Indirectly, the dog leads Juan to new places, meeting new people. When Bombón performs well in a local dog show, Juan's future as a dog exhibitor seems definite. He begins to enjoy life, finds new friendships en-route and has a constant companion in his dog.

'Bombón El Perro' is not exactly made for the big screen, but could be appreciated on a quiet night in. Ultimately, this is a story about a man and his dog. Nothing riveting, but nice. Even the cinematography and the script hit a level of simplicity while allowing the delivery of great dry humour. The very presence of the lazy, libido-less dog is probably the most entertaining aspect of the film.

The cast is non-professional by name, but not by nature. Juan Villegas parked cars in a garage near director's Carlos Sorin's production company in Buenos Aries for 15 years. He brings a modesty and innocence to the screen, which garnered him the Award for Best Actor at the Nantes Film Festival. His co-star Walter Donado's excitement and ambition seem genuine.

But 'Bombón El Perro' doesn't work to hold your attention. A bit like the lead character Juan, everything about the film is nonchalant. Don't expect any energy in the 95 minutes, it's just time spent.

Patricia O'Callaghan