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Four ambitious and beautiful young women. From four very different corners of Mexico. Just like hundreds of others, they are caught up in the frenzy that sweeps the nation when Alejandro Mateos (Julio Bracho), one of the country's most powerful producers, dreams up a nationwide talent search to cast the lead in his next big movie. But all this is news to Alejandro's on-again, off-again lover, Eva Gallardo (Patricia Llaca) , a diva of epic proportions, who expected to get the part. While Eva schemes to nail down the role, our four leads begin their own journey on the road to fame. Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Calling all sheltered Americans (like me)... See this movie!!
I thought long & hard to come up with a word that describes how I felt after seeing this film. That word, believe it or not, is "enriched".
Packaged as a comedy about the silliness of stardom, CASI DIVAS is actually a brilliant social satire that opened my eyes to the amazing, diverse culture south of the border, something that we Americans know so little about. The film focuses on four characters from different regions of Mexico vying for national fame, each having her own unique driving motivation. We get one rich girl, one farmer girl, one street-smart urbanite, and one oppressed worker girl. Each of the four characters is apparently an extreme stereotype of a region, and this may border on offensive if you happen to be from one of those areas, but isn't that what a social satire is supposed to do?
The motivations of each of the girls are what make the film so interesting. It shows us that the different cultures within Mexico have immensely different lifestyles, desires and dreams. What's great is that the film doesn't attempt to prioritize one over the other but rather shows us how immeasurable they are against one another. Is one girl's desire to escape the factory any less valid than the rich girl's desire to be as thin and glamorous as her social class dictates? Is the farmer girl's desire to experience life any less valid than the urbanite's desire to show the world she can overcome city prejudices? Each in her own turn, the characters win you over and make you realize how conflicting interests can manage to live together, whether in Mexico or in your own neighbourhood.
The film itself is presented as a pseudo-mockumentary. I say 'pseudo' because some scenes have the characters talking to the camera while other scenes are traditionally shot from an omniscient perspective. It's unusual but very effective. I think the scifi DISTRICT 9 (another brilliant social satire) took the same approach. Being that this is a comedy, it instantly made me think of the Christopher Guest mockumentaries (BEST IN SHOW, WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, MIGHTY WIND, etc), and I think if you like those films you'll like this too.
Many scenes had me laughing out loud, especially the slapstick scenes which were done just right (physical comedy is an art form unto itself). But what I loved was the way the movie avoided the predictable cat-fighting between contestants. Instead, most of the conflict came from family members, jilted lovers and shady peripheral characters. This made it unpredictable and entertaining up to the very end.
One other thing I wanted to mention is, even though this is a satire, it doesn't descend to sarcasm or cynicism. This gives the whole film a very upbeat & cute presentation, despite its pointed message. It's refreshing to see that filmmakers are still capable of tackling heavy issues while remaining light-hearted.
On top of it all, it packed some really powerful human moments that did not seem contrived at all. In fact, you realize that these human moments are what the movie is all about. I highly recommend this movie because it covers all the bases. Comedy, drama, social commentary, and some great lookin babes to boot.
By the way, you can currently find this DVD for $2 in the bargain bin at your local Blockbuster. If you pick up a copy, you will not regret your purchase!
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