Ardor is an old Western styled romantic-action flick, directed by Pablo Fendrik, with a runtime of 101 minutes. A mysterious man emerges from the Argentinean rainforest as mercenaries slaughter a father occupying his land illegally and kidnap a poor farmer’s daughter. Ardor is a revenge tale set in present-day South America, indicating how uncivilized and wayward it is even today, analogous to Old West. The movie is a slow builder towards a gut crunching climax, though it lacks the intense tension necessary to seal the deal.
The lead protagonist is a man with no name, no shirt, and no shoes, emerging from the forests to save a family from the threat of mercenaries. Three armed mercenaries arrive in the jungle and set up camp. The ringleader is a moderate man, but uses intimidation for luring the residents into selling their property to them and then resorts to leaving no evidence of the deal (by murdering them). The lead protagonist, in hindsight, had suffered at the hands of these mercenaries at one point in time and attempts to make matters even by saving the lead protagonist, creating a typical Western scenario.
The two protagonists celebrate by having sex in the jungle but are caught off-guard with some hindrance caused by a wild tiger. The male protagonist, Kai, attempts to take the fake bill of sale from the mercenaries, causing a stir. There are long pauses where characters remain silent. With a hip back tattoo, Kai makes for a poor action hero, seemingly more apt in romantic roles. Albeit, he is an expert in setting booby traps and aiming bamboo spears at mercenaries. The role clearly doesn’t suit him. He has learnt the ways of jungle, underpinning the fact that he wasn’t planted deliberately.
The jungle steals the movie itself with beautiful imagery from the beginning till the end. The actors are well cast, but the movie’s tone is flat. The idea seems good enough, yet it feels artificial at times as the movie progresses. In addition, accepting a man living the jungle life seems a bit over the top.
Photo credit: Facebook/ Ardor movie