"Por la libre", a delightful comedy, directed by Juan Carlos LLaca, shows a new voice in the Mexican cinema. Mr. LLaca gives us a nicely paced movie. Written for the screen by Antonio Armonia, the film deals with what happens in a lot of families after a strong older member of it, in this case, the grandfather, dies suddenly. "Por la libre" has a great musical score by Gabriela Ortiz and the crisp cinematography of Checco Varese.
One of the problems in carrying out the wishes of the patriarch is made clear right after the will is read. There is a bank account the old man has left to a friend who leaves in Acapulco. His wish is to be cremated and have the ashes scattered in the waters of that scenic city by the Pacific, where he would have gone to reside, had he lived long enough.
While the three siblings squabble about what to do with the house and other financial matters, one of the two grandsons, Rocco, a young man who appears to be a rebel, wants to do the right thing while his father and the others are fighting. He decides to 'borrow' grandpa's old Mercedes that has been left to his cousin Rodrigo, and go to Acapulco to fulfill the old man's wishes. After he has stolen the urn that contains the ashes, Rodrigo watches as his cousin is about to leave, and catches up with him and the two embark into a voyage that will make them closer.
In Acapulco, Rocco and Rodrigo find the key to solving their dead grandfather's hidden secret, that no one within the family, had a clue about. In fact, both stumble into the mystery by mere coincidence when Rocco sees an advertisement for a hotel where they stay while making preparations for the ritual of scattering the ashes at sunrise.
Mr. LLaca is to be congratulated for getting good performances out of the three principals. Osvaldo Benavides and Rodrigo Cachero play the two cousins, Rocco and Rodrigo with conviction as they seem to be having fun with their roles. The gorgeous Ana de la Reguera plays Maria, the daughter of the owner of the hotel where the two cousins end up staying.
"Por la libre" deserves a viewing because of all the elements that the director, Mr. LLaca brought together to the film. The movie is well crafted and it's fun to look at. In a way, it's one of the best films that have come out of Mexico in recent years.
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