This time, Controller Company will be looking more into Spanish films. Ever since I had written the Pan’s Labyrinth mini review a few days ago, I became more interested to know more about the Spanish Cinema. There exists ‘Three Amigos of Cinema’, consisting of Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, three of the acclaimed director from Mexico. Their movies have received recognitions and many have won awards from multiple festivals, including the Oscar. Y Tu Mama Tambien is a classic movie that was released in 2001 and directed by Alfonso, who included Diego Luna, who had starred in Rogue One. The basic premise is basically a tale of the a road trip taken by two boys, Julio and Tenoch, who invent a non-existent place in order to go out with Luisa, a beautiful married woman from Spain. The boys’ girlfriends left them to go to Europe and they are becoming sexually frustrated. At the same time, Luisa has experienced a heartbreak as her fiance has cheated on her. They decide to take the road trip by car to the beach. Along the way, mishaps caused by lust and jealousy start to unfurl. Will their journey ever be successful?
(this film contains plenty of nudity and sex, woo hoo!)
In a way, this film is not your typical road trip drama ala American style. There are multiple narrations along the film which pauses the audio, and tells you bits of tales of some of the characters and events that do not happen on screen. What is unique about this is that, you are watching a story that contains many backstories at once, albeit in a subtle way. Moreover, what is being narrated does not necessarily affect the original premise at all. What’s impressive is that some of the narrations are talking of real life events, such as political and economic realities and situations of Mexico at that period of time. The narrations drive slows down the pacing and allows you to immerse yourself in the film world without being distracted too much from the main story. It is one of the most unusual way to relay real histories behind a fictional one.
What I love about the film is how organic the settings and the characters are. Tenoch and Julio are just like best friends that you would see in Mexico, with their acting seemingly non-existent and approaching the definition of entirely natural friendship and brotherhood. The film’s events are very ordinary, with most taking place in the car, some hostels and restaurants, basically it manages to tell a compelling story through marvellously natural acting in completely ordinary settings. I am very impressed that such a simple tale harbours a deeper meaning, in ways that are so hidden, so subtle and yet at the end, become something significant. The love, sex, lust, friendships, scars and hidden pain become the intertwined theme of the film and the director pulled it off in such a marvellous way. Simplicity that contains complexity, this film is indeed a gem that deserved to be seen by more audience!