Juan (Juan Villegas) is stuck at being middle aged and selling hand-made knives on the sly at worksites before being chased away by over zealous security guards. With no ambition, or steady employment, it seems the rest of his days are planned out until, after a typical act of kindness, he is given ownership of Lechien, an Argentine dogo, a hulking, bright white mass of coiled canine muscle with a dour demeanour.
Bombon El Perro tells a simple story in a simple way. Nothing much happens and when it looks like the film is set to take a certain path, it gets distracted and ambles off on its own, much like Lechien, walking along until his nose catches scent of something more interesting.
However, director Carlos Sorin ensures that very little happens the right way. The photography of Patagonia shows us a part of the world that doesn't get seen onscreen enough. While the landscapes impress, a soundtrack of wind blowing across the plains help to immerse the viewer in Juan and Lechien's journey.
The films' performances also impress, especially as most of the cast have never acted before. It helps the naturalistic tone, which is never forced, or overbearing.
It is the character of Juan himself that is lacking. He does only what other people tell him to do. After a while audiences may find themselves wondering exactly why they are supposed to be rooting for this man, who has no memorable qualities whatsoever.
But then Lechien will wander in front of the camera. While actors under act intentionally, can anyone remember a dog doing so? Successfully? He is fantastic. He never fails to impress and his performance ranks with the all time great animal performances, up there with Clyde the orang-utan and Bonzo the monkey that out shone Ronald Reagan.