Eldorado is the road trip movie that couldn’t find its destination.
When Yvan (Bouli Lanners) arrives home to find a burglar in the act, he threatens to call the cops. Instead, Ivan befriends him—sort of. Elie (Fabrice Adde) admits he was stealing Yvan’s huge jar of coins to supply his heroin habit. Yvan gives Elie a lift to the main road and bids him adieu. When their paths cross again, the two set off on a road trip to Elie’s parents’ home. Yvan will deliver him and Ellie will start over and quit the junk for good.
Anytime you confine characters in a space, such as a car, you usually create magic, but this drive proves long and mostly uneventful. Even with two empathetic main and a few quirky secondary characters, Eldorado lacks conflict and chemistry. Maybe it’s Ellie’s flattened affect and distance. Yvan and Elie’s mother share some a connection, but it’s a mere interlude before the story moves on to its bittersweet ending.
Eldorado is peculiar and has its entertaining moments. It’s missing that je ne sais quoi that would boost it above the 3-star mark. That said, Lanners is to be lauded for his impressive trifecta as writer, director and star.
Writer/Director: Bouli Lanners
Run time: 80 minutes