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Backpackers 2022 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Salvador Campodonico (Maxi Iglesias) wakes up at zero-dark, his to-do list exploding on his phone. He hits the gym and takes a shower so we can understand how he maintains the ripped physique which we’ll get several opportunities to ogle throughout the movie. Then he heads to work – he’s an architect for his father’s hotel conglomerate, the biggest in Spain. Salvador remodels hotels into gleaming high-class urban monstrosities or beauties, depending on your point of view. He works so much, he makes your average workaholic look like Brad Pitt in True Romance.
His dream is to build a seven-star hotel in Cuzco, Peru, but his demanding father has him on a short leash, so he better get this monument to progress built pronto, or else. He flies to Cuzco to scope out the spot, and determines that a big thing made of glass and concrete would look damn peachy in the middle of an old-world city exploding with color, culture and tradition. He wants to give a gigantic pile of money to Lichi (Wendy Ramos) for her property, and she’s torn between getting rich as all hell and maintaining the quaint hostel she’s run for many years now.
Fate intervenes when Salvador accidentally breaks the key off in the lock to his Airbnb. He wanders down to an outdoor party where he meets Lichi’s niece, Ariana (Stephanie Cayo), who sings and dances and paints and enjoys an untethered lifestyle. Since Ariana and Salvador are the most attractive people on the screen, of course they sleep together that night, and then coyly trade barbs for most of the rest of the movie. See, she’s a hippie-ish sort who thinks building a monster hotel smack in the middle of this gorgeous city is a horrible idea. And he’s a modern guy who can only think of the tourism dollars the hotel would bring to the area. Will she turn him into a transient hippie? Will he turn her into the type of person who (gasp) has a schedule? No spoilers, amigos.
Thank the deity of your choice the Peruvian tourism board seems to have directed this movie, because its biggest draw is Peru itself. The mountains, the valleys, the lovely rugged terrain, the clouds kissing the peaks, the burbling brooks, the peaceful wooded expanses. And Cuzco bustles with charm – delicious-looking food, lively people, rich cultural textures. Book your vacation now and imagine what a hotel full of $400/night rooms would look like among the stone churches and other lovingly preserved historical architectural delights. Right. It would look like shit.
So maybe Salvador has something to learn here, and Ariana can teach him. Yawn? Yeah, maybe, but Cayo and Iglesias muster enough of a spark to keep their by-turns prickly and affectionate friendship from being a full-blown cliche. You know, two people from two different worlds and never the twain shall meet, and all that. They schtup each other, they hate each other, she somewhat begrudgingly agrees to lead him on a five-day backpacking trip through the mountains, she teaches him to meditate, etc., and they take the scenic route no matter what they do so we can enjoy eyefuls of lovingly photographed postcard landscapes and, in the scene where they visit the hot springs, eyefuls of their lovingly photographed bodies in their skivvies.
Without Saying Goodbye breaks no new ground whatsoever, but the fine-tuned characters, especially Ariana, make sure this is slightly more than just a fluffy romantic travelogue. Its light comedy never gets too broad or irritating; the romance doesn’t become a pointlessly steamy mashfest; the drama keenly avoids being soap operatic. It finds a happy medium and stays tonally consistent – a story of two people learning about each other. Cayo and Iglesias weather the screenplay’s cornball tropes and manage to make us feel invested in their relationship. This is a nice movie, and for once, I don’t say that disparagingly.