El cajellon de los milagros

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on El cajellon de los milagros

I really liked this film. I thought it was different from all we have seen and really appreciated some of the aspects of it. The thing I liked the most is the use of time in this film, they always go back in time to show different people interacting in different manners yet it never feels repetitive because we learn something new from the point of view of someone else. Their play on time I thought was what made the film interesting, they give clues in each segment (for example in the Alma scene you can see Fidel son’s in the funeral and then they appear in the next segment as beggers) as to what is going to happen and then fill you in. Each character is interesting in their own way and I think they created characters that are actually believable.
As I am not supposed to use the word stereotype, I’ll use the words “stock characters in Mexican soap operas and film”. I think Mecanica Nacional used this as to create a satire, something that El Callejon de los milagros never did. We are presented to Don Ru as this patriarchal figure who is chauvinistic and homophobic (typical conservative latin parent) and then that image is torn apart when we learn he is actually a homosexual. The character of Alma is also seen as basically a gold digger interested in sex, but expanded to see that she actually did fall for Abel and gave up for her life for the life people thought she should have. This characters are compelling, they are interesting, something that Mecanica Nacional failed to give us. I think the most stock character is Susanita, an old single woman desperately looking for love. The funny thing is, I have met a lot of women like that in Peru, she played that type of woman to perfection. Her innocence is destroyed when Guicho stelas her money but again she does not act as we expect her to, she actually leaves him.
I actually think this is the film that represents class difference in Mexico the most effectively of the films we have seen. Los olvidados is a film that presents the problem of children in the streets turning into violence and lack of education failry well, yet it only gives us in detail that part of Mexico, the homeless. The rest of Mexico city is presented through the point of view of the children: oppresive, insignificant. Aguila O sol mocks the high and low class by showing their differences in the theater and in the characterization of Cantinflas character and his father, but never presents the problem as it really is. And Mecanica Nacional used the differences to accentuate humour. Yet this film actually presents the high class (Jose Luis) as oppresive, but also presents the idea of the US dream as being the high class. Abel actually leaves to become part of the American society to have money. What they are saying with this is that class boundaries are set in Mexico, and the only way you can get money if you are poor is by going to the US. This view is seen by thousands of people in Latin America, and to some extent it is true. Life is not a comedy like in Aguila O sol were from one day to another a poor person becomes rich, or were the poor and the rich interact in the same context like in Mecanica Nacional, the social and economic boundaries in third world countries are strict and this film respects it and never wants to satirize it, but call upon it as reflection.


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