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|Index||11 reviews in total|
Fairly early on in this film I had this dreaded thought: the central characters lack any real heart or integrity. Then I sat through it hoping the plot would develop these "rats" into people I could possibly care about. The five main characters largely remained rodents right to the bitter end. So the characterizations lacked depth (primarily not the actors fault). This isn't a gritty story about hardship. It almost feels random, without real voice, what happens just happens. The title indicates this is a (lightweight) drama. It just didn't lift off the runway. Technically the camera work was a bit rough, and the subtitles were poor. Great or even just good festival/independent films can percolate in your head for days afterwards. This film left me as soon as I left the film.
Definitely the best film I saw at Cannes. Mexican cinema is really coming a long way right now, and this film was even better than Tu Mama Tambien. The director filmed the whole thing with a hand-held video camera and amateur actors (who were his friends). His approach gives the film a real gritty feeling, keeping clean of that "hollywood smell". His shots are beautiful and graceful, as is the story. It was filled with emotion, drama (obviously), and strong characters. It compels you to continue watching, without even being really sure what the plot/point is. It is a film that inspires hope in life (and life's little unexpected and unwanted surprises) and encourages us all to view beauty and innocence where we can find it, because it is so often lacking. For a film that was created essentially without a budget, it rivals and often surpasses those Hollywood blowouts that lose the essence of film making in a drive for commercial success. I strongly recommend Drama/Mex to anyone who also enjoys independent cinema and beautiful films, and pray that it comes out on DVD in the states sometime soon.
"Drama/Mex" tells of three everyday people in Acapulco whose lives
intersect over the course of a two-day period. The characters include
an attractive young woman named Fernanda (Diana Garcia), who's having
trouble deciding whether to stay with her current beau (Juan Pablo
Castaneda) or to return to her thieving cad of an ex-boyfriend (Emilio
Valdes); a middle-aged business man named Jaime (Fernando Becerril),
who's contemplating suicide as a way out of his unhappiness (there's a
hint that he might be having an incestuous relationship with either his
daughter or stepdaughter); and a half naïve/half streetwise girl named
Tigrillo (Miriana Moro), who's in the process of learning how to rip
off rich, male tourists for fun and profit. The last two characters
meet when Tigrillo slips into Jaime's beachside motel room to steal his
wallet right at the moment that he has a loaded gun to his head.
Together, these two people with relatively little in common beyond
their happening to be at the same place at the same time, manage to
forge an unlikely relationship that defies easy labeling.
"Drama/Mex" is a homespun, slice-of-life drama that isn't obsessed with making big dramatic gestures or revealing grand universal truths about human nature. Instead, it simply introduces us to its characters and lets their stories play out naturally, with very little manipulation or fanfare. Though the narrative is clearly contrived to some extent, the film still manages to capture the random nature of life as we live it. The characters don't necessarily "learn" anything from their experiences - but they do emerge from those experiences, to some degree or another, "changed" people, willing to look at their lives from a decidedly different vantage.
Superb performances (especially by Becerril and Moro) and direction (by Gerardo Naranjo, who also wrote the screenplay), and a refusal to tie everything up into a neat little bow at the end add to the movie's overall quality and appeal.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Interesting. I saw it last week in Tokio. It's very clear why the
french like it. Despite the director's false modesty during the Q&A;
(Repeating endlessly how much he suffers while shooting) the film left
me with the sense of having seeing a great work of art.
The use of music is a great nod-homage? to Godard. The acting is definitely Cassavetian. The directing of actors is unbelievable great. Still too chaotic for my taste. (The director kept saying that chaos was his only goal)
Not for everybody. Machist, misogynistic, excessive use of foul language. Some characters behave like animals. I really dislike the provocation of mixing a rape scene within a romance plot. Why?
Overall, I think the film is unique, it's not fashionable although it addresses important subjects. The director is a strange person but knows how to direct actors, after I watched the film I found myself thinking about the film for many days.
The subject is the impossibility of being in love, I have followed many new Mexican films of what is called the Mexican new wave, this one is different, the characters morality is without a doubt a provocation. Loud and chaotic the film qualifies as interesting contemporary cinema.
This film is OK. Nothing more and nothing less. An interesting idea that takes almost two long hours to explain. Teenagers in love, or not, are not that interesting people. A few sex scenes break up the boredom. While it has qualities, if this is the best Mexican film in 10 years then we might all be in a little trouble. If this was the best film shown at Cannes then that festival should be shut down. The girl who plays Tigrillo is excellent and the Jessica Alba look a like is easy on the eye but as far as the story goes, why do I care? Chino is the type of character who deserves a smack in the head and Gonzalo could have done us all a favour by doing that a lot earlier.
I saw some reviewer berate this movie at length and thus created this account so I can write in and say NO WAY.... This is definitely among the BEST Mexican movies I've seen for a while. There's definitely a class effect, as it seems to depict the "good life" as being a wealthy one as well, but damn. It took the heartaches of youth and developed them in three dimensions. And the craziness, stupidity. This film will bring you back -- Fantastic. Emotional. Proof that buried into the masculine psyche there is a deep emotion. A yearning hopelessly intertwined with erotic love, and all the agony that goes with it. Definitely among the ones that proudly stand out among the Mexican films to come out in the past few years. I recommend it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The mere idea that Mexican actors, Diego Luna and Gabriel Garcia Bernal
were involved with "Drama/Mex", was the main reason for watching this
film written and directed by Gerardo Naranjo. This is, in many ways a
movie that evokes better made ones by the likes of Alejandro Gonzales
Inurritu, or Alfonso Cuaron, who have elevated the quality of Mexican
cinema to new heights.
"Drama/Mex" seems to have been a project of love on the part of everyone involved in it. The result feels like a cross between cinema-variete and a road picture, as we are taken along to meet a group of unconnected seedy characters that populate the lower depths of Acapulco. The film, with its two different narratives can be confusing at times if one doesn't pay attention of what is going on.
What Mr. Naranjo has accomplished is to create an atmosphere of people in turmoil where he sets his characters to live and play. Best of all, Fernando Becerril, a solid actor who conveys the anguish Jaime is going through. This is a tormented soul and Mr. Becerril gives a nuanced performance. Among the young players, who might be non-professional, Diana Garcia, who is seen as Fernanda, shows a promise. Also Miriana Moro, as a young prostitute, and Emilio Valdes make valuable contributions.
One can expect better things from Mr. Naranjo in the future.
I have to admit I watched this film by mistake. I was checking previews on pay per view, and it seemed interesting but not enough for the $5.99 they charge. But then I pressed the wrong button and I found myself, regretfully, watching it. I hoped until the end it would go somewhere with the characters but it didn't. It reminded me a lot of "Amores perros" another film whose popularity I still cannot understand . Interconnected stories!!??? First of all, what stories? Yeah, they all happen in the same town and this town has a beach, so people end up there...oh, I forgot to mention that the stories happen in a hot day so the actors in these interconnected stories are all sweating, so there is some connection. I agree with other reviews, the camera work was interesting at the beginning but as the story became a bore, it made the film even more difficult to watch. The music (Beethoven on guitar) was so cliché that by the end I was keeping myself amused by guessing when would it start playing.
Gerardo Naranjo's sophomore feature, "Drama/Mex", is as unhinged as its protagonists. Essentially, the film plays out as an Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu hybrid, dubiously trying to forcefully connect three stories uncoiling in Acapulco. The first is of Fernanda (Diana Garcia) who runs into Chano (Emilio Valdes), her ex boyfriend at a café; the next thing you know, they're already in bed. In this case, the drama here is that, as familiar as it may seem, she already has a boyfriend named Gonzalo (Juan Pablo Castaneda). At the same time, another tedious narrative thread follows Mariana, who, after just being hired by fellow prostitutes, spots Jaime (Fernando Becerril)a pretty damn old man who has such meaningless life that he essentially goes to the city to kill himselfand gets him to feed her, entertain her, and shelter her. Despite its grand, promising opening sequence filled with ambition and audacity, the main problem with "Drama/Mex", of course, is its callously exasperating narrative; jaundiced to its very core, it ends up going all over the place, as we now find Gonzalo attacking Chano, Jaime at the club, Fernanda running all over the place, and Mariana buying anything she can. Essentially, what starts out as a finely nuanced, audaciously handsome drama evolves into a frustrating imbroglio, as its familiar ending fails to unite its narrative threads, finally culminating happily yet with a profound feeland, as odd as it may seem, such disaster can be pliantly interpreted; even appealingly. Indeed, "Drama/Mex" is not entirely with out its merit: Naranjo's mesmerizing camera work fits its milieu perfectly, and the fact that he first studies his characters before sending them to ruin is proof of its boundless self-confidenceall of which are perpetuated by the miraculous cast that, indeed, beautifully portray their dubious situations.
This film sets back Mexican film making 10 years. Te story is awful along with the cinematography and acting. I sat thru an hour of hoping that this movie would take me someplace but all that happened was my friend who unbeknown to me was also having a terrible time sitting thru this waste of time turned to me in Spanish and said '' please can we leave'' I nearly kissed him we turned to our other 7 friends all who went to support Mexican film-making and we told them we were leaving this sinking ship. two more agreed that nothing was happening except dizzying cinematography and just a sad sad terrible flick. 4 of us left and I quickly went to the box office and requested a refund I was told no but when 2 other people who left when we did came over to demand a refund they obliged. My friends who stayed later text me and I quote''oh no and the worst thing is nothing happened it went no where'' After seeing a great Mexican film KM31 I expected way more than what this film offered, save your money. even if I did not like you I still would not recommend this.
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