Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Sin Nombre" (Language - Spanish) (2009) - Movie Review

The quest for the American dream has led to the pot pourri of the international residency in the country. The journey to get out here varies, sometimes morphed legit in the name of higher education to an occupation, which includes me. The other is the neighbouring country for the United States, Mexico which then also being the pathway for the further economically distressed nation like Honduras. “Sin Nombre” is that journey along with the tragedy of territorial wars, poverty spread in patches and bulk and the mixture of this humanity in the deadliest.

Regardless of the country, language and culture, in poverty there is a loyalty for territorial gangs. Wherever it started as an insignificant conflict becomes a tradition to that part. Then on the friendship with the members comes an infection of a misplaced adherence to the group. A devoted member of the clan La Mara is Casper (Edgar Flores) possibly in his late teens getting another kid Smiley (Kristian Ferrer) at the age of ten may be to the group. There he is inducted in the group by a timed cortes meaning beat the hell out of the little kid. Tattoos are trade marks and identification. The leader of that part of the town is Lil’ Mago (Tenoch Huerta Mejía), a ferocious merciless man. His face is covered with tattoos forming a permanent mask.

Casper seems to be a man with a chance for some slight change but is bound by the mob brotherhood and mostly fear of disobeying it. He is in love with a girl Martha Marlene (Diana Garcia). He keeps her off the life he leads in the day time because he knows better of his buddies, especially Mago. He tells Smiley to keep his mouth shut when they are asked about their scheduled lookout for the opposing gangs in their field. But Mago’s second in command Sol (Luis Fernando Peña) found a man from rival gang and he becomes the aided first kill for Smiley. Mago knows the truth and punishes both Casper and Smiley with cortes. Tragedy strikes when Martha stops by unannounced to be taken off by Mago and she dies in the effort to escape Mago’s rape attempt. “You’ll find another” tells Mago to Casper who clearly has departed and decided what he will do.

Simultaneously there is Sayra (Paulina Gaitán) from Honduras embarks her trip to New Jersey along with her father (Gerardo Taracena) and uncle who left when she was a child. He got deported and this time he would like to take along her daughter and brother. He has a family in US and makes them remember the phone number out there in case they get separated, which is quite possible. Sayra’s journey crosses Casper’s when along with Mago and Smiley they rob the immigrants over the train. The events out there would leave Casper take the train to nowhere while the young Smiley would soon become a Mago himself at the film takes us through this chase from the gang.

The blind and terrorizing film of “City of God” told these kids eager to be lifting guns and go through the life of being in the gang. Right from the young age, the feeling of belonging is imminent. If it does not come in the family or the family does not provide the necessity these kids want in such an environment, violence and sex are inches away as death too. At the age when everything makes sense in a unilateral manner, they become the fly seeking the electric light. Soon before the humanity takes some finding in them, they are deep into this mud of loyalty.

Writer/Director Cary Fukunaga does not go for clever dialogues. He makes up a story and has the characters get the attention in their stuck path. Casper as a kid would have got into the routine and when he finds love in Martha has realized the mess he made of himself He cannot get out and knows the worst is any time. And he knows the same when Sayra acquaints him. These characters in their age where a person of good life cannot imagine the cruelty and toughness they are introduced. They react to those where the balance in their decision has hardly formed. We are shocked when Sayra follows Casper blindly knowing his end. Casper is shocked too but knows the persistence she has and decides to play that to reach her to safety.

The camera work of Adriano Goldman captures the train journey through the lands of destitute in the condition of the people and the richness in the nature surrounding them. There is a constant shot when Casper takes Smiley into the head quarters of the clan and we are reminded of the world Henry Hill takes his wife in “Goodfellas”. Here it is bunch of young men tied violently by an identification insignificant and the power it brings upon of course with booze and women. “Sin Nombre” is a thriller, a drama of the inhumanity and the humanity and the people taking risk for something a little more of a better life in the American dream. Whether it becomes a nightmare before it achieves further ordeal is the dangerous adventure of Sayra with Casper.

No comments: