The story of a group of friends and the problems they face before starting their college life.
El Cielo Rojo: A Mediocre Attempt to Create Cinema Esteban Oreamuno Film Appreciation
Costa Rican cinema is, like the country itself, a work in progress. It is slowly developing and learning from the past movies. "El Cielo Rojo" by Miguel Gomez is a perfect example of an attempt to create cinema in Costa Rica. This movie has caused me some negative impressions but at the same time I am a believer in Costa Rica's ability to produce cinema. We see a premature script, unprofessional actors (Ricardo Rodriguez, Edgar Román, and Mauricio Dapena), and senseless plot. The movie narrates the life of some Costa Rican friends as they approach the moment in their lives when they have to become "adults". One of their friends is leaving for college in the United States and they have to say goodbye. Is the kind of movie that is funny but at the end you notice nothing important has really happened since the beginning.
The story revolves around three characters. Bernie, Manuel and Nestor just graduated from high school and they do not know what to do with their lives. Unsure of their future, they decide to concentrate on whatever is important for them at the moment. This includes parties, girls and hang out with their friends. As the movie develops, we understand the situation of some of the characters with some weak character development. The story is set in modern day San José, Costa Rica. We can see some familiar places such as Palmares and Caldera.
The actors of this movie are mainly unprofessional actors. This is probably a cause of the low budget the film-maker had to make his movie. The group of friends seems very unnatural at the beginning of the movie. As the movie progresses, some of the actors like Ricardo Rodriguez (Gordo) do a better job. Mauricio Dapena (Bernie) does a terrible job when interpreting a young adult. He seems very cold and stiff and his character deserves more. They do not seem to accurately interpret some young adults, except Ricardo Rodriguez. Their characters are supposed to be energetic and lively and the actors seem so boring.
I liked some parts of the movie because I am Costa Rican. Its humor is very reduced in terms of the people it is addressing because to understand the jokes, you are supposed to be Costa Rican. Its humor is kind of shallow but seeing ourselves represent on a movie can be funny at times. I also liked the underdeveloped theme of how the decision of taking and career and going to college can be transcendental for young adults. I did not like the acting in the movie by the group of friends. I did not like that plot because it is very shallow. Major events never happen in the movie. Most of the movie is them in the car, going to a party, in the party, or at the beach. When the ending of the movie comes, you realize nothing happened in the eighty minutes (give or take) you were sitting in from of the screen.
The theme of the story can be satisfactory if it was developed more. Some important themes standout such as: father-son relationship, academic decisions, and the theme of friendship. The theme of friendship present in the movie can be expanded upon with scenes rather than them in the bars or at the parties. I think people can learn few deep lessons from this movie. They can learn some of the problems average teenagers face when graduating from high school but not much rather than that. This is all because of the poor character development and the senseless plot.
One of the major flaws of this movie is that the audience it is suited for is very small. To enjoy the movie you have to be Costa Rican, young and now what the teenage life is like. It seems like to enjoy the movie you have to have certain requirements. This movie is not for people that are not Costa Rican because they would not understand our idiosyncrasy and the way we behave. It is not meant for children under fourteen either because they still do not understand the life of a teenager. If I had to rate this movie I would give it a PG-13 since there is a sex scene present and the use of alcohol.
The movie "El Cielo Rojo" as I mentioned is nothing but an attempt to create cinema. The director tries very hard to make it funny but he misses out on vital details such as sound, image and plot. The photography of the movie is "nothing to write home about". I believe this movie can be useful for future Costa Rican filmmakers to learn what not to include in their movies and what important details they cannot miss. If I were to rate this movie I would give it a 5 out of 10 taking into consideration the conditions Costa Rican filmmakers have.
Esteban Oreamuno is currently a junior at Lincoln School in Costa Rica. He is taking a course on film appreciation by Pablo Morales. He enjoys swimming, mountain biking, and watching movies.
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