If you couldn’t guess from the plot description, Cargo is certainly a thought-provoking film with a high amount of versimilitude, not afraid to delve into complicated issues and themes such as austerity, slavery/trafficking, racism and more. One of the primary ways the film investigates these topics is through it’s use of character – not just the main characters, but also through the everyday people and life happening in the background that get caught in this tragic tale. The audience is shown the struggles these people face, from trudging around in dirty water and mud, to not being able to afford new clothes to much more and much worse, and is made to watch as their simply don’t get any better. Whilst, there is a glimmer of hope throughout the film this doesn’t last long, and Cargo can be seen as very much taking the stance of hopelessness. This is especially evident in the closing line which makes it clear that perhaps the ‘sweet release of death’ is all that these people can look forward to – a cyncical view but one that is unfortunately steeped in reality.
Technically-wise the film is decent. The slow and methodical approach is evident again through the cinematography and editing; shots are allowed to linger (be it on scenes of happiness or quite the opposite) for reasons similar to the above. This means the audience has time to connect with these characters and their plight, creating more emotion and sympathy that hopefully can extend to the real world. Furthermore, the acting is also good, despite the sometimes on the nose and rigid dialogue.
All-in-all, Cargo is an interesting and intellectual piece of cinema, which does well to deal with difficult and timely issues. Although, it’s slow nature does make it a tad boring in parts, this is only a minor issue. If you like a good drama, and aren’t afraid to be faced with the toughness of reality, give this film a watch.