When Frank Met Carlitos (2023)

When Frank Met Carlitos (2023)

An entertaining fictional musical duet between two of the American continent’s greatest singers



Antonella Misenti, Oscar Lajad, Pablo Turturiello
72 min


Time to pick up Duolingo again.

What it's about

Hiding from insistent fans, Argentine tango legend Carlos Gardel hoped not to be disturbed in his dressing room, but the young teenage boy that snuck into his dressing room piqued his curiosity after hearing his voice. Gardel decides to share some tips for the singing profession, including coining the boy’s stage name: Frank Sinatra.

The take

Based on the rumors, When Frank Met Carlitos is a fun reimagination of how the meeting between Carlos Gardel and Frank Sinatra went. While the meeting is entirely fictional, it’s an interesting what-if scenario, as the real-life Sinatra went into music because of American singer Bing Crosby, who in turn, was notably inspired by Gardel, the Il Muto. Split between their languages, Gardel and Sinatra still have a shared understanding, piecing together each other’s thoughts through shared loan words, and imparting knowledge through dramatic song. As the fictionalized versions of the best singers from the American continent interact, the TV special seems like a send-off from a wiser generation to their younger counterparts.

What stands out

Of course, with the film centered between two of the world’s greatest singers, the two leads burst into song in this film. They sing some of their known tracks, alternating between English and Spanish in every song, and name dropping some of their biggest ones. However, for monolinguals or people unfamiliar with either Spanish or English, the story might be hard to follow, as the subtitles only reflect the dialogue, not the singing. Therefore, for monolinguals, any emotional moments being expressed through the songs would only be understood through the tunes, not so much the lyrics. The team’s faith in the music is understandable, considering these are excellent classic tracks that have both English and Spanish versions, but monolinguals would likely miss some layers to their dynamic.

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