Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Written & Directed By: Cary Fukunaga
Cinematography By: Adriano Goldman
Editor: Luis Carballar & Craig Mckay

One of the problems with being a film fan is that you have seen a lot of films so you begin to see films influenced or downright steal scenes, plots and characters from other films you see twists coming a mile away you can predict where a story is going to go. So when a film is labeled as original you go into it already with a skewed mindset. You watch it waiting for something original, something that everyone else who has raved about it saw and loved, something you haven’t seen to come on the screen or at least something to dazzle you and if it doesn’t appear you are ready to pounce.

That maybe why I continuously find myself watching films like this and THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES which are critically acclaimed and praised by viewers, but somehow just don’t connect with me, After I watch the film I see there is plenty to like about the film. The technical aspects are top notch, but it seems to be missing something to really connect with me. I can give the film a mild Recommendation but not a great review.

Foreign Films often give us a glimpse into cultures and countries a lot of us may not be privy to so it fascinates and we at times we give credit more to the film then it just opening our eyes to issues in other countries. We find ourselves easily swept away and captivated. So that we don’t react so much to the actual film and film making then the issues we are watching on the screen. Which is fine if it’s a documentary.

While the film doesn’t go into the same territory as City Of GOD. It does explore the world of rapidly increasing gangs and there members but it’s not a in depth depiction and examination. Instead the gang is more of a backdrop to the lives involved and the region the film has been made. It also set’s up a enemy that the main character is on the run from which amps up the suspense for the story. When it is not focusing on the struggle of people trying to start a new life in a foreign land and also the budding romance of the two main characters which luckily is more platonic and sentimental then physical

The Film looks beautiful and it is obvious the director has talent. It just didn’t connect with me and I love foreign films but more and more they seem to have lost a certain luster for me or I have just not seen anything recently that has lived up to it’s reputation.

The film follows a father his daughter and his brother as they travel a train to get into the united states illegally with other immigrants they cross paths with a young gang member who is getting tired of gang life especially after his leader tries to rape and then accidentally kills the only girl he has ever loved. When they are sent on a mission to rob people on the train. he snaps and kills the leader leaving his protege to run back and tell the gang what happened as they hunt him down with his protege leading the way to prove himself. The gang member and the man’s daughter start to fall for each other and when she is separated form he family he becomes her protector.

It’s a film that can be sweet while showing the seedy and strangling depths of the society that surrounds them. I can see how this movie will touch a lot of people but again it just didn’t penetrate my sensibilities at all I guess I am just cold

It’s a good rental


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