Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Y tu mamá también" (Language - Spanish) (2002) - Movie Review

Alfonso Cuarón’s “Y Tu mamá también” is as much as sexually stimulative as it would expand the horizons in the nature of it. It follows two teenagers Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael García Bernal) who understandably in their ages are going nuts on drugs and sex. They had their sexual appetite being satiated by their respective girlfriends when the film starts. And the girls go off to vacation which makes these two try to go wild hunting in getting laid, unsuccessfully. In the meanwhile we understand their friendship filled with decadence and we indeed wonder whether they hide their actual sexuality towards each other. But that is a fragment in the big puzzle of theirs.

In between these two boys comes a fairly elder woman Luisa (Maribel Verdú). She is related to Tenoch through her husband. In a wedding she meets the mischievous duos who obviously tries to lure her into an imaginary beach and bring their fantasy to reality of sleeping with her. She obviously knows that except she believes in this beach. After learning her husband cheat by his drunken confession over phone from him, she decides to join the boys to a trip as sort of freeing herself from always having the feeling of being obligated to some one all through her life. The boys are enthralled and thus begins a journey further into the exploration of sexuality but more than that is the friendship, betrayal and life at the brink of everything.

The film stops its sound once in a while when the narrator brings up the minutes shredded as disposable immaterial thing of a surrounding, characters and completely irrelevant details too. He also tells characters which were there whom we hear as stories. It provides tidbits of information which we can relate because we sparsely mention those amongst our conversation. The rituals we might have in a routine in our rest room or the OCD we hide or the simple details in a whole story we tell every other friends. It begins as a boasting form of storytelling which then transpires into an element we come to identify and in that appreciate.

More surprisingly are these three performances and the boldness in engaging in the sexual scenes not as erotic but in a manner relating to their characters. Rarely does that happen when in the intimate private moment projected with cameras and people to have a performing moment in bringing a character in to it. See how Tenoch and Julio rush into things with their partners and become vulnerable when they finish up even before they would start. And how Luisa trying to guide them comforts them as she knows and have seen that in men through her teenage years. Sexuality as a character happens or is been carefully shown in very few films. Ang Lee did that quite emotionally and comfortably in two of his films, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Lust, Caution”.

Here in this film while sex becomes a greater part, it is more about how each character relate it to each other. When Tenoch and Julio begin the journey with Luisa, each knows they wanted her but no one really knew who would go at it or whether the other person would be fine with the priority. As that happens with one of them, the secrets come out in a blurting effort to hurt the other and only ending up driving more and more past coming into light. In between them comes Luisa and begins to make sense of their acts and how they got to accept life and its consequences of course erotically and amognst the beauty of nature in the beach they created coming into existence.

The taboo of so many explicit scenes would shock some. It did for me not because of the scenes but the characters of Tenoch and Julio who dictate their life as carefree as one can and pushing it as far as they can. They hawk with an eye for possible encounter openly in their body language and smiles which means only one thing. Yet when they are blared by the imbalance brought in by Luisa, it blossoms into a tale of something beyond carnal pleasure. The intimacy becomes a form of explanation of their secrets and put it outside in the open for a night.

When one of the characters is invited by Luisa, the other one looks at it and we laugh. Because we know that he did not think his buddy would beat him to this. It would have been the same if the other person was in the doors. Moments like that are strangely comical because we see how they feel and smile at them beaten in their own game. And other times we laugh at the truth coming uninhibited as everything is out. But we do not get sad by the end how each of them go their paths and to learn what happened to them which they never saw it coming. Because they have already lived most of the happiness in the trip and that overshadows their pursuit of the mundane life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i watched this movie 2 years ago and i loved it ...not as much for the story but the secret rural mexican getaway ... as soon as they get out of mexico city the movie becomes interesting ...