Waissbluth’s tale of two brothers majors on lost innocence as Silvio (Nester Cantillana) introduces younger sibling Victor (Juan Pablo Miranda) to a world of girls and guns where the lure of easy money leads to heartache.
Essentially, this is a modern day film noir, using bright lights and garish colours to create a fluorescent underworld where individuals have the power to determine the fate of others. Don Pascual (Alejandro Trejo) and his partner Gracia (Rios) are two such people – a crime lord and his long-suffering girlfriend – who both establish a relationship with Silvio. All work and no play do not come into the equation here as Silvio mixes crime with pleasure, running the risk of losing more than just his job. Victor also has emotional ties with Gracia; a situation that adds fuel to the fire when Pascual begins to smell the coffee.
Although the eventual outcome is entirely predictable, you should still be rooted to your seat as Waissbluth’s storytelling technique ensures the 114 minute running time fair zips by, with several decent performances to engage your attention.
Revolver’s Region 2 DVD unveils a fine transfer, and also offers the option to play the enjoyable soundtrack. Extras are somewhat thin on the ground – there’s no audio commentary which is regrettable though understandable given the language barrier – but those who enjoyed this film will be delighted by the presence of a 15 minute making-of featurette. Here, Waissbluth discusses the problems associated with shooting a debut feature, and reveals the eventual three story plotline did not surface until the 9th of 12 screenplay drafts. He also talks about various influences: Kurowsawa’s Rashomon is the most obvious, and Tarantino, Marlon Brando, Elia Kazan, Martin Scorsese and François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows all get mentions as does David Lynch. The latter is particularly appropriate as Los Debutantes owes more to Blue Velvet than Pulp Fiction.