While on a trip to Thailand, a successful American businessman tries to radically change his life. Back in New York, his wife and daughter find their relationship with their live-in Filipino maid changing around them. At the same time, in the Philippines, the maid's family struggles to deal with her absence.
Gael García Bernal,
Three friends embark on a road trip like in high school, but things have changed - Gregor is going to war mission, Ziva is going to study abroad, while Andrej is still the same. There are secrets left unsaid. Can their friendship survive?
A poor girl, a rich stud, a university student and a model -- nothing in common, except the desire to experience true intimacy. Their stories unfold and overlap as each becomes victim to their own sexual dependencies, self-perceptions and illusions. Thematically structured around issues of femininity, masculinity, virginity, rape and sexuality, each teen struggles to make sense of their own identity, reaching for ideals that represent everything they feel they are supposed to be, but are not. Written by
With generosity and patience one could appreciate this movie. However, the director's choice of using split screens throughout is an overwhelming mistake that gets in the way of everything else he is trying to do. It becomes annoying, like receiving text totally underlined and in capital letters: not everything is equally important nor do the images on one side of the screen contribute continuously in any significant way to what happens on the other side nor enhance our grasp of the whole. So, we are regretfully left with a boring and pretentious conceit of the sort that should have been outgrown in film school. Rodrigo Bellott is nowhere near being a Peter Greenaway who can manipulate aspect ratios and split screens to profound dramatic effect, thereby creating effective, well-structured wholes (e.g. The Pillow Book, a film only done full justice on a theatre screen where the diverse aspect ratios which occur throughout the film can be shown.... DVD's can't do it).
Better luck next time.... and I truly hope there is a next time for Mr. Bellott. Forcing oneself to ignore his unfortunate aesthetic choice (and this is hard, for there is no avoiding it for the whole frigging movie) one realizes that Mr. Bellott may indeed have something worthwhile to say. I wish him to try again, preferably with a strong, experienced but sensitive producer at his side.
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