Set in Galicia in northwest Spain - an area famed for its beauty and smuggling - this film shows a once-thriving fishing and shipbuilding culture fallen on hard times. Feisty, street smart ...
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Set in Galicia in northwest Spain - an area famed for its beauty and smuggling - this film shows a once-thriving fishing and shipbuilding culture fallen on hard times. Feisty, street smart Lena, 18, lives in semi-penury with her hard-drinking slob of a father, Gorrión, and hopes to escape by getting a grant to study in Portugal. Gorrion is mixed up with local drug-smuggling mafiosi, that includes Lena's godfather, Gitano, their Portugese Cachero, and the strong, silent Milio. One day, Lena returns from her job to find Gorrion badly beaten up: The gang had accused him of stealing. Lena visits the gangsters and offers to help pay off her father's debt by working for them. After Gorrion forgets to deliver Lena's grant papers, a fragile emotional bond develops between Lena and Milio. When they set off to Portugal to do a job, events start to ramble.Written by
Charismatic young actress offers a glimpse of her potential
Lena is an at times interesting, at times pedestrian coming of age story set in the bajos fondos of Vigo. Stories of criminals double-crossing each other have been done before, and better, but Marta Larralde, as Lena, makes much of a schematic role, showing her capacity for emotional variation and betraying a sharp intelligence behind her radiant eyes. Her conflicted love for her undeserving father is believable, much more so than her transferrance of sexual longing from yet another Al salir de clase veteran (Ivan Hermes--are there any fims in Spain this year without these people?) to the sociopathic Milio. I won't get into the Elektra complex implications as the movie doesn't merit it. Yet on the whole a decent hour and a half in the cinema.
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