Lawrence O'Toole
April 12, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Illusion Travels by Streetcar

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Lilia Prado, Carlos Navarro
director
Luis Bunuel
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Foreign Language, Drama

We gave it a B-

Any film by the great Spanish surrealist Luis Buñuel is worth watching, even if it’s relatively minor Buñuel. Here is a grim and funny story of two laid-off transit workers who drunkenly steal a Mexico City streetcar one night for one last spin before the car is retired to the junkyard. On board, the fellows encounter a cross section of humanity — a nobleman, cruel schoolchildren, meat-factory workers, criminals, an irritating gossip — and, as usual, Buñuel’s theme is ”What fools these mortals be.” The streetcar functions fluently as a metaphor for the stop-and-start vagaries of existence. Yet Illusion Travels By Streetcar could have used a bit more bite and certainly better pacing. This time around, illusion should have taken a taxi. B-

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