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Roselyn Sanchez Lights Up the Screen!, August 3, 2007 By Grady Harp
(Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews (TOP 10 REVIEWER)
(REAL NAME) YELLOW may be fairly easy to dismiss as a soap opera story
of little girl makes good despite a troubling journey, but the presence
of Roselyn Sanchez is reason enough to see this little art film, She
has what it takes to make a film magic, she acts well, dances well, and
creates a credible persona from a rather superficial script.
Based on a story by Nacoma Whobrey about the gifted daughter of a once famous male ballet dancer who leaves her native Puerto Rico in the grief of her father/tutor's death to find a better life in New York - the city where her father found fame. Amaryllis Campos (Roselyn Sanchez) worshiped her famous father (Jaime Tirelli), learned ballet under his tutelage, then grew up in a home after her father's leg crushing accident, with a mother (Erika Michels) and a live-in druggie boyfriend Angelo (Manny Perez), supporting her helpless family by delivering pizzas. When her life falls apart one person befriends her - Hilde (Nancy Millan) - and provides her money to move to New York and a cousin with whom to live.
Once in new York Amaryllis finds the cousin's apartment occupied by a sweet old poet Miles Emory (Bill Duke) who allows her to stay. Finding work proves difficult until she signs on as a pole dancer in a sleazy nightclub. There she meets an emotionally bruised physician (D.B. Sweeney) who befriends her and who with the help of her new found friends finally makes her way back to the legitimate stage.
Yes, the story has been done before, but it is the pacing of director Alfredo De Villa that keeps the film pulsatile, and the shimmering screen presence of Roselyn Sanchez that makes this little film worth watching. Story 5, Performance by Sanchez 10. In Spanish and English with subtitles. The additional features on the DVD are even more interesting than the script! Grady Harp
This was a really sad movie that didn't seem to get too much attention
from anyone. Rush Hour 2's Roselyn Sanchez plays "Yellow" a Puerto
Rican woman who grew up being a dancer. When her father dies she leaves
her mother and boyfriend whom she hates to find a career in dancing.
Yellow moves to New York where her life becomes even worse as she searches for a job. A stripper becomes her only means of money so she takes the job :D ;P.
It is the sort of movie that you are thankful you have family to care for you and that you're not alone. I can understand why a lot of people didn't like it though, unless you can relate to the Puerto Rican culture you probably don't care to much about Yellow. Maybe you'd be like "Oh that happens a lot of there probably" but no it happens every where and all the time.
A movie about people who are alone but find happiness again through loved one's. A very sad movie with only a few main characters that all seem to be alone and can't find anyone to save them.
There is no point in denying it: the main draw for me to watch this movie was the presence of Roselyn Sanchez in the central role. And I was not disappointed: her performance (probably drawing from personal experiences) is honest and believable, her dancing (in a variety of styles, from pole stripteases to salsa to classical ballet) is pro-level, her body is amazingly flexible, and her six-pack abs are without equal! Sanchez carries this movie - she has to, because nothing much happens during the 90-minute running time, although the script tries to introduce some sub-plots, mainly concerning Roselyn's New York neighbor, a half-crazy poet (Bill Duke) with a tragic past. It's a small, simple film that's suitable mostly for fans of the leading lady, and possibly of athletic women in general. (**1/2)
There are many good movies out there. Yet, there are very few amongst
them that carry you and take you to a place of peace, or what I like to
call cinematic bliss. The last movie I can remember that left me in
such a state was the SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION about five years ago. I sat
down just to watch nude scenes of Roselyn Sanchez, the protagonist, and
ended up completely drawn by the deep drama the movie throws at you. It
has been a while since I witness the depth of emotion that she
displayed almost as if she had lived the experience herself. Roselyn
should get an award for such a performance.
I am almost mad at the little publicity that the movie was given and the horrible "crappy movie look" of the cover. Its true that we shouldn't judge any book by its cover but now a days we can't help it with so many movies out there. They should display more of the real threads of the movie in the cover and back cover shots.
No matter though, since I was lucky enough to sit down to watch it and the movie was awesome enough not to let me stand up till the end of the credits. Two thumbs up to Roselyn and her crew for such an incredible journey!
Amaryllis (Roselyn Sanchez) lives in Puerto Rico with her parents and has a job delivering pizzas on her scooter. She dreams of being a dancer and is very talented. But, her father, once a great dancer himself, with a New York company, is confined to a wheelchair while her mama drinks too much. Amaryllis' boyfriend, too, is a jobless "taker". One day, the young dancer's father commits suicide and her mother reaches out to her daughter's boyfriend for comfort. Amaryllis is stunned and flies to New York. But, getting a job in the Big Apple proves difficult and she needs cash fast, although a kindly retired professor offers her a low-rent room in his apartment. Having nowhere to turn, Amaryllis becomes an exotic dancer in a strip club, where she turns heads with her body and costumes as well as her skilled dancing. One regular client in particular, Dr. Christian (D.B. Sweeney) has his eyes on "Yellow", as Amaryllis is known, as a future companion for himself. But, will Amaryllis totally abandon her dream of becoming a dancer? This movie has one main asset. Sanchez is a most beautiful woman and a terrific dancer. She is truly the reason to watch this flick, as she makes it bearable. Sweeney is less successful, mostly because his role is a stilted, repugnant mess. The other cast members are quite nice, especially the man playing the role of the aging professor. Sanchez looks lovely in her street clothes but her dancing costumes are definitely eyebrow-raising. Then, too, the scenes around Manhattan are nice but the small number of minutes spent in Puerto Rico wonderfully showcase the island's abundant loveliness . All other production values are adequate but nondescript. However, these items are of little importance as the big problems with the movie are its themes. The world of a professional dancer is undoubtedly a life of cutthroat competition and repetitive rejection. However, this woman's descent into the dark world of exotic dancing is repulsive. Make that a ditto for the clients who frequent such establishments. Therefore, if you love Sanchez, skip this one and go get The Game Plan instead. Now, there is a lovely film which highlights her magnetic beauty and talent in a big, big way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yellow is a nice, little story about a girl moving to the big city and
chasing after her dreams. It's also a great example of a specific breed
of cinematic nudity.
The star of this story is Amaryllis (Roselyn Sanchez), a beautiful and unflinching Puerto Rican girl living in an apartment with her drug dealer boyfriend, unstable mother and hobbled father. Her father used to be a famous dancer and he trained his daughter to follow in his footsteps, but somewhere along the way things went wrong. The father ended up in a wheelchair and Amaryllis ended up delivering pizzas. Her life might have gone on that way for a long time, but a family tragedy sends Amaryllis to New York City to fulfill her, and her father's, dream of becoming a great dancer.
Like almost all such stories, however, the reality doesn't quite live up to the fantasy. Amaryllis ends up squatting in an abandoned apartment next to a neurotic poet. She's forced to go to work as a stripper, where she encounters a man who watches her but is different than all the other leering fellows. Through it all, she remains committed to her dancing until the opportunity of her lifetime finally arrives.
Roselyn Sanchez does a wonderful job, making you believe in a decent young woman who wants more than anything to live up to the example of her father in his youth. But unlike many similar characters, there's not a lot of sweetness to Amaryllis. There's a visible strength and a bluntness to her that sets her apart and makes a fairly familiar story seem a little newer, a little more real. It also helps that the movie doesn't complicate things too much. This is just a girl working a job she doesn't like while searching for that way into the world of legitimate dance. There aren't a bunch of artificial, contrived problems that get thrown in her way.
But, the movie does go off track in the second half as it focuses too much on two male characters - Miles (Bill Duke), the neurotic poet and Christian (D. B. Sweeney), the man who would be Amaryllis' knight in shining armor. It's not that the two story lines are bad or the actors don't do a good job, it's just that Amaryllis is the character we really care about and she's only a bystander when Miles and Christian are around. She doesn't really play a central role in what happens to Miles or Christian. One is more involved in some unspoken trauma with his son and with the other, Amaryllis is basically just a girl in the right place and right time. Neither Miles nor Christian make any choice or are confronted with any dilemma where Amaryllis has to play a decisive role, so their activities work to take away from the central story instead of enhancing it.
As for the specific breed of cinematic nudity on display in Yellow, I think you could call it Producer Self-Nudity. Early on in the film there's a gratuitous scene of Amaryllis having sex with her boyfriend. She's naked and we get a good, solid look at her. But later on she goes to work in a strip club, and while we see other women topless, Amaryllis never takes it all off for the camera. Now, why would an actress get naked early in a movie, for no particular reason, but not get naked later on when it would be completely appropriate for that part of the story? T he answer is that Roselyn Sanchez isn't just the star of Yellow, she's also the producer of the film. T here's not a question in my mind that she didn't really want to do movie nudity, but threw in it toward the beginning of the film for the crassest, most prurient of reasons. She just wanted to get the audience's attention and give them a little thrill so they'd watch the movie a little closer in anticipation of nudity to come. It's not a bad trick.
Yellow is a good dance movie that's closer to realism than the overt theatrics common to the genre. You won't find any improbable dance-offs, just a dreamer and her dreams in a world that doesn't always live up to them.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you have no interest or patience for statistics, please skip to the
final paragraph of this comment. After a careful study of voting
patterns for about 1,000 movies rated on this site, I noticed at least
three virtually unique facts about the moviegoer rating stats posted
under the "User Rating" heading for Yellow (which was summarized as 4.4
out of 10 as of 3-3-08):
1)There are WAY too many ratings in the "2" category, usually one of the least used (even for crappy flicks). Here it is 20.3 per cent, about the same as the number of "10" ratings, and about DOUBLE the number of "1" ratings. With other movies "bad" enough to score higher than 10 per cent in the "2" category, there's pretty much always 30 per cent plus in the "1" category. Obviously, somebody with too much time on their hands tried to beat the system of weighting out the often political preponderance of "10" and "1" ratings by stuffing the ballot box with "2" ratings.
2)This person, who probably supplied more than half of the "2" ratings, tried to duck under the radar by not making a pretense of justifying their possibly nefarious motives. The only user comments as of 3-3-08 were from people who rated the movie "6," "7," "8," and "10." If someone honestly hated this film enough to record three dozen negative votes, why not submit at least one negative comment, unless there were underlying financial incentives or hate-crime type racial or misogynist motives?
3)Even though Yellow is the type of movie (ethnic, arty and potentially titillating) which normally attracts participation upwards of 20 per cent from "Top 1000 voters," this group has submitted only 8.3 per cent of the vote as of 3-3-08: more evidence of a ballot box stuffed with bogus votes.
Roselyn Sanchez gave her all for this film, as she recounts in the DVD extra "Roselyn Sanchez on Yellow." She says she worked out with a trainer eight hours daily in her native Puerto Rico before filming began, "because I wanted to look shredded when I was naked." Her nude scene in the movie is extremely minimal, even compared to Demi Moore's in STRIPTEASE. Quoting Ms. Sanchez, "this is a dance movie with a lot of heart . . . something I created for me as a vehicle to show I can dance." She lost 12 pounds in training, and had to endure cortisone shots to complete filming after injuring her shoulder. This kind of "sisu" prompted me to rate it 7 out of 10, despite the lack of credibility given the scarcity of her bona fide stripping. (For those without time to view the 18 deleted scenes totalling 28:59 minutes on the DVD, the main affect of the deletions on the substance of the film was that the back-story on protagonist Amaryllis Campos' (Sanchez) mentally scarred New York City neighbor, the poet Miles Emory (Bill Duke in a flashy performance) was sharply trimmed. Obviously, this production is lazily patterned as a Puerto Rican FLASHDANCE in some respects, but without the scenery of downtown Pittsburgh, a credible love interest for Amaryllis (the one she has here is really creepy, and feels like it was scripted in at the last minute as an afterthought), and the picturesque welding scenes, it is unlikely to be as memorable for the general audience decades from now as its predecessor is today.
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