HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moonchild
Verite, La
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Güeros Start the revolution without meBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Alonso Ruizpalacios
Stars: Tenoch Huerta, Sebastián Aguirre, Ilse Salas, Leonardo Ortizgris, Raúl Briones, Laura Almela, Adrian Ladron, Alicia Laguna, Camila Lora, Sophie Alexander-Katz, Alfonso Charpener, Alonso Ruizpalacios, Bernardo Velasco, Yojath Okamoto, Adolfo López Cruz
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: After a prank backfires restless young Tomás (Sebastián Aguirre) is sent to live with his big brother Sombra (Tenoch Huerta), a college student now stuck in a grungy apartment with roommate Santos (Leonardo Ortizgris) as a result of the student strikes in Mexico City in 1999. Both brothers share a love of folk rocker Epigmenio Cruz whose music, according to legend, once moved Bob Dylan to tears. So when word reaches them Epigmenio has been hospitalized they set off on a freewheeling journey in search of their idol, amidst the tumultuous backdrop of the student protests.

The word "güeros" is a derogatory slang term in Spanish aimed at those with light skin. A running gag throughout the movie has people jokingly ask why Tomás is not dark skinned like Sombra. It is among several questions deliberately left unanswered in the thematic strategy of this debut feature by writer-director Alonso Ruizpalacios. Winner of five Ariel Awards, Mexico's equivalent of the Oscar, including Best Picture, Güeros was hailed in its native land as a multifaceted cultural redefining landmark. Overseas the reception was more mixed. While many critics warmed to the film's youthful energy, wry humour and sociopolitical satire, others labelled it a paradoxical parody of art house cinema or worse yet a meandering exercise in style over substance - though even detractors admired the style.

Certainly among Güeros' defining strengths, the dreamy black and white cinematography woven by D.P. Damián Garcia deliberately harks back to the French New Wave. As does Ruizpalacios freewheeling cinematic technique which matches the unpredictable narrative punctuated by moments of lyricism and surrealism. Rather than indulge in empty pastiche the film looks to forge a thematic connection to the similarly vibrant, challenging, sociopolitically-charged early cinema of Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut. Ruizpalacios' fluid direction exhibit an impressive grasp of the medium that shifts in style to match each change in mood. It only gets a little too cute midway when a minor character breaks the fourth wall and starts complaining about the screenplay. Whereupon Ruizpalacios cuts to a clapper signalling a retake.

It does help to have some knowledge of the student strike of 1999 which was as tumultuous and socially significant in Mexican society as the one that rocked Paris in May of 1968. As Ruizpalacios stated in interviews, Güeros is a film of two halves. One a portrait of a key stage in Mexican social history. The other an exploration of youth who feel uneasy in their own country. At various key points throughout the narrative the characters are confined, powerless (literally so inside Sombra's apartment with his thwarted attempts to steal electricity from his neighbours) and frustrated only to periodically break free. Even then they often wind up in tense confrontations with hostile neighbours, malevolent gangs or unsympathetic authority figures. Nevertheless neither the central characters nor film itself ever lose heart. Tomás' tireless search for Epigmenio Cruz instills a vague sense of purpose in the hitherto aimless Sombra and Santos even though as various anecdotes build up a portrait of Cruz as a colossal screw-up the film hints their encounter will be anticlimactic. The journey includes a vivid vignette focused on the student uprising wherein the group reunite with Sombra's would-be girlfriend: fiery student activist Ana (Ilse Salas), whose name and glamorous third-act makeover are apparently modeled on French New Wave icon Anna Karina. Interestingly lead actor Tenoch Huerta felt Ruiszpalacios was disrespecting the student movement and only signed onto the film for the money. However, the film's wry warts and all portrayal of the rebellion is less obviously disdainful than marked by a sense of frustration as Ana's idealism runs into the familiar roadblocks as sexism, mindless anarchy and petty violence.

Güeros is a film full of unanswered questions, unfinished conversations and unspoken feelings. All of which coalesces into the implication that the future of Mexico is itself an open question. As events unfold the characters feel let down by commerce, politics, rebellion and art, but emerge with the sense that the one thing they do have is each other.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 243 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: