Cargo (2011)

Natasha Rinis, Sayed Badreya, Philip Willingham, Raul Torres,
A young Russian woman, smuggled into America by human traffickers, must fight for her life in order to derail the traffickers' plans.
  • 5.1 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Lee Peterkin, Writer:
  • Yan Vizinberg, Director:
  • Chris Cooper, Abigail Honor, Producer:

All subtitles:

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7 / 10

Draws The Viewer In To The Plight Of The Victim. Well Done.

A movie that manages to draw you into the plight of its protagonist and that turns her into not just an object of sympathy, but actually allows the viewer to feel her plight, has to be considered a success. "Cargo" managed to do that, both on the strength of the story and on the wonderful and powerful performance from Natasha Rinis.

Rinis' character (also named Natasha) is a young Russian woman who is convinced to travel to America to live her dream of being a famous model. She realizes things aren't right almost from the start. She arrives not in the US but Mexico, is forced by suspicious characters to turn over her passport and then smuggled across the border and imprisoned in a basement with other girls from whom she learns that she's to be forced into the sex trade. Here's where the movie took an unexpected (to me) turn. I thought the story would follow the misery of her life as a trafficked sex worker. Instead, Natasha is turned over to a driver named Sayed (played by Sayed Badreya) whose job is to deliver her to a scumbag in New York City, where her fate will be ... who knows.

The movie revolves almost entirely around the journey of these two. Natasha is abused and terrified - but she's also strong and smart. After failing to escape a couple of times she starts to try to build an alliance with Sayed, to gain his sympathy. Sayed, on the other hand, is a contradictory character himself. A devout Muslim, who regularly stops the journey to pray, he finally confesses to Natasha that he doesn't like making money this way, but he has no choice. The evolution of the relationship between the two is interesting to watch.

Unfortunately, it's also the evolution of this relationship that weakens the movie in the end. You spend the whole movie rooting for Natasha and admiring her strength and courage, but in the end it's Sayed who kind of emerges as the hero, as Nastasha is rescued. After the way the movie had progressed, I wanted Natasha to find her own means of escape. This doesn't detract from the character's strength, but it just didn't fit what I wanted to see. And it made Sayed a bit of a heroic figure in the end. I appreciate the portrayal of his transformation, but it was Natasha who needed to come out in the end as the hero. Still, even if the ending wasn't as satisfying as it could or should have been, this was a very powerful and very sombre movie that does portray something that, sadly, happens more often than we care to think of. (7/10)

7 / 10

A tense, decent film.

Not nearly as nasty or indeed as powerful as the 'Seasoning House' but still a memorable and worthy, social comment on sexual slavery. A grubby subject, ultimately hidden deep within the criminal underworld and mostly untouched by the authorities. The lead actress, in what would be the very toughest of roles, is very good and convincing.

5 / 10

Cargo - brief

Space SciFi from the Swiss. The exhausted planet Earth has been mostly abandoned. Folks are saving coins and heading for Rhea, a great new world. Travel takes eight years in massive cryogenic / cargo ships. After three years, our heroine is roused to be bulky suited, glorified patrol guard, prowling the vast emptiness of dim corridors. Why? There is a stowaway loose, endangering lives and the ship. Gradually, darker discoveries emerge. Several CGI shots, luckily kept to a minimum. Unoriginal plot. Decent, post industrial "wet" sets (just curious, why doesn't leaking water freeze in space? heating a massive vessel so that water puddles about strikes me as a colossal waste of energy. sorry). Not a bad film, but not a good one, either. Predictable, derivative.

8 / 10

Unexpected surprised.

I thought this would be like most human trafficking films. But Cargo surprised me. I felt it was more about getting to know the main characters than anything else. We learned their story, we got to understand them. For the most part, the film took place in one setting, but that was fine by me, especially considering the dialogue that was being exchanged through this setting. The characters had a bond, whether you notice or not, it's there. Both actors were fantastic. Natasha Rinis actually made me tear up a little, because she let us feel what she was going through. I would like to see her in more films, giving that same emotion. The same with Sayed Badreya, great work. Cargo surprised me a lot.

I would be interesting in more of the writers/directors work. 8/10 rating and I would recommend.

7 / 10

Human Trafficking

At last film makers are uncovering the despicable trade of human trafficking. In this film a girl is smuggled to America, she is faceless, lost and unprotected. It is the same theme as the excellent films TAKEN which was set in France, and FREIGHT which was set in the UK. This happens, that is what makes these films uncomfortable to watch. They are the area of life that politicians can gain nothing from tackling, but these great film makers do. Well done. The horror the girl feels is very real which makes this different from Taken. In Taken we follow Liam Neeson's character as a hero, here we see the pain of the girl as we do in the UK film Freight. Somehow that perspective is so much more powerful, and it hurts. You feel the girls pain.