Friday, August 16, 2013
PROMEDIO ROJO (2004)
Directed By: Nicolas Lopez
Written By: Nicolas Lopez & Beatriz Santana
Cinematography By: Chechu Graf
Editor: Diego Macho
Cast: Ariel Levy, Xenia Tostado, Benjamin Vicuna, Nicolas Martinez, Berta Muniz
Nerdy comic book aficionado Roberto Rodriguez battles low self-esteem, loser friends and vicious high school bullies as he vies for the heart of Cristina, the hot new girl from Madrid.
This Film has one of the most heartbreaking edits that I have ever seen. Which might be one of the many reasons why this film is so lowly rated on IMDB. The film reminds me of the movie THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN though not as dramatic. Where as the film builds towards a romance of 2 people getting together and the obstacles one has To go through to get the other one and then after all that build up. Rips your heart out, when it could have easily gone the more traditional route.
I can give the film credit for wanting to be familiar yet different and makes the film noteworthy, but unfortunately both of these films build up such strong stories and characters, that we want to actually see them get together. In Other films we know it's coming. So we just watch for the hijinks and honestly wouldn't mind of they weren't successful. It would at least make those films different since most of those movies are unoriginal and not the matches made in Heaven they want you to think they are.
What hurts Is that it makes it so final they could easily be together and who knows if this was the real world would, but the film makes it seem like they will never contact or be able to.
The film is full of energy and invention. That mixes surreal moments with very real ones. It builds it's narrative to a fantasy that Brings us and the characters back to he hardships of youth and the challenges to defeat though not always the right way. What brings the film down or makes it annoying is that it's broad humor at times is very crude and characters seem more like sketch characters then real ones. It's humor is off color, but for me that represents the spirit of the film as it takes place in high school on the verge of graduation so it deals with some serious themes while still mainly revolving around juvenile humor. Our lead is a comic book geek fanatic and practicing illustrator himself many times he fantasizes About a comic book superhero he creates and is his alter ego. The scenes of this are cute, ridiculous and go on way too long to have us understand what he feels and what he is going through.
The movie is based on Nicolás Lopez's weekly column "Memorias de un pingüino" (memories of a penguin) that the wrote during his high school years from 1997 to 1999 in the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio. The best columns were published in the book "Promedio Rojo: how to study cinema making your own movie", that was released as a tie-in for the movie, featuring also the screenplay of the movie, marketing, storyboards and a life diary of Lopez
The star wars references are cute. I only wish the wisdom and advice he gains from them would be more witty and actually help his quest.
There is a scene in a gynecologist office of a dentist that really has no reason to be there except to set-up a plot point that goes nowhere and maybe to have a Scene with a female character who is introduced early like she will be a important character then disappears into the background for most of the film.
I actually liked the character and wished she had been incorporated more into the story and film. She is a funny character and quite attractive. Like most Of the female characters in the film. She also is scantily clad like the main female characters must be in at least one scene in the film.
The film smartly also has a immature mind set in a sense as most of the characters seem pre-occupied with sex and seeing boobs, but other then 2 brief scenes there is barely any sex nor any nudity in the film, though most of the characters seem to desire it.
Me and this film have a bit of history. The year it came out I saw a trailer for it and heard it hyped by ain't it cool news. I looked forward to it as it reminded me of an Alex de la Iglesia film. Then I waited and waited for it to come out on DVD. Which it still has never done. I even tried buying the foreign DVD's with no subtitles and searching for reviews then all of a sudden last year I noticed it was on YouTube in many parts without subtitles. I decided to watch it thinking it will be the only way to see it. (I also saw the film REC without subtitles the first time but not on YouTube) since there was a lot of action I was able to follow what was happening. I liked the film hen once I finally got Netflix streaming instant I saw not was available and watched it again only this time with subtitles, I understood the film more and it deepened itself.
This is a film worth checking out for a limited budget. Nicholas Lopez brigs energy and vitality to a simple story and makes it personal and a statement that Jose of us who are like the main character can really Identify with.