A traveling mariachi is mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him.A traveling mariachi is mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him.A traveling mariachi is mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him.
Rodriguez gives his best direction to date. Perhaps it was the lack of funds or the intensely gritty scenes, but this film helped me realize why cinema is so amazing. It is the perfect story of the small fish making his big mark on a big pond. Rodriguez takes every resource he can and rebuilds the classic concept of mistaken identity. With the fast-framed photography and interesting choice of camera angles, he takes a straightforward story and builds a legend. I enjoyed watching this film because although it was made for just a simple $7,000, the production doesn't look cheap. I have seen Hollywood blockbusters that have looked like they squandered their money more than Rodriguez did. I was just impressed with the quality of the film and the story that I suddenly felt myself totally immersed into the story.
Oddly, it is the story that never falters throughout this picture. Normally, when you have a lower cost on budget, a segment of a film will suffer. Sometimes it is the character development, other times it is the story. Nothing is forgotten about in this film. There is plenty of violence (for all you action fans out there), some powerful drama (dealing with his dreams), and some comedy that will keep you grinning from ear to ear. By having this strong balance, our hero emerges with the utmost confidence, our villain seems diabolically evil, and therefore leading into moments of sheer joy, constantly wondering what will happen next. I was rooting for everyone in this film because I felt something for each. Only through the careful eye and artistic direction of Rodriguez could such a feat be accomplished.
I have nothing negative to say about this film. From the moment the first turtle walked across the screen until the very end, I enjoyed every aspect of this picture. I suggest this movie to anyone that has ever thought about making a film, but was concerned about budget. I also suggest this film to anyone who loves a good story, amazing action, and characters that literally jump out of the screen like comic book heroes.
Grade: ***** out of *****
- Sep 17, 2004