"Carga" is psychological thriller that opens up a dialog surrounding the exploitation of women and human trafficking. The film is the directorial debut of Bruno Gascon, and stars Netflix’s “1983” Michalina Olszanska in a breakout performance, 3-time Golden Globe winner Victor Norte (“Cinco dias, Cinco Noites”), and international model Sara Sampiao in her feature film debut.
A truck driver tormented by the load he carries. A road that should lead to a better life. Human beings treated as goods for selling... In a capitalist society where each person focuses on their own needs, it is easy to forget about those around us and only do what is best for each of us. This is the story of Viktoriya, a young woman who throws everything away in search of a better life. From the moment the doors of the truck where she travels open up, Viktoriya is confronted with the cruel reality of human trafficking. Can she escape her fate?
Gaston's story hangs precariously between respectful storytelling and sensationalized thriller. The subject matter is horrific in and of itself. Human-trafficking and exploitation of women and children is an ongoing plague within society. Gaston highlights just one of those stories. It is dark, inherently disturbing and heartbreaking. At times "Carga" expresses the horror perfectly- in a cringe worthy manner, and at other times the film seems insincere, or unnecessarily over-exaggerated.
As good as the acting is, and the cast really are committed, the choice to lean more into thriller territory, as opposed to a more psychological drama telling, does deminish the depth of the characters a bit. Still "Carga" is a compelling story and the commitment of the cast shows throughout. The depressing scenes that contrast a perverted, almost mimicry of compassion from the victimizers, against harsh cruelty in the victimization is a little hard to watch, as they peirce at the heart and mind of the viewer.
Overall Bruno Gaston's "Carga" is film worth watching. The subject and the events that transpire in this nightmare could be plucked from any country and exist as a harsh reality regardless of nationality. It could be you, as the film jabs starkly into our psyches, more to the point - what if it was your, or your neighbor. In the end this is an act of violation to us all, aso a society we are all complicit and victims of Human-trafficking. "Carga is worth checking out. (3/5)