Film Review : Post Tenebras Lux (2013)

IMDB Score – 6.6
Rotten Tomato – 55%
Netflix Instant Watch

Directed By – Carlos Reygadas
Starring – Adolfo Jiménez Castro, Nathalia Acevedo, Rut Reygadas, Eleazar Reygadas, and Willebaldo Torres

Juan and his urban family live in the Mexican countryside, where they enjoy and suffer a world apart. And nobody knows if these two worlds are complementary or if they strive to eliminate one another.

Hmmmm. Ummmmm, well….hmmmmmm.

I don’t really know what to write about with this one. I heard about this film from film.com and their annual “25 Films of 2013” montage. I forget what number they had it listed as but the fact that they included it on the list at all is telling. I have no idea what I really just watched. I like ambitious cinema. I can deal with experimental films that don’t necessarily have a plot or story but basically rely on scattered ideas. I just couldn’t with this film. It was like it was trying to be edgy and deep and only came off as pretentious and stupid.

Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas seemed like he took very personal events in his life and tried to symbolize them in the form of this film. The problem is that nobody but him has any idea what the hell he is trying to say. There were red glowing devils, people tearing their heads off, random ass rugby games in England, sex parties with the joy of sex completely taken out of the equation, robberies gone wrong. All of these things were just strewn together as if they were supposed to scream something but I just didn’t get what they were trying to tell me.

I will say thought that the only reason this wasn’t a complete bomb was that there was some great still camerawork in the film. Shots of a Mexican forest and dark thunderstorms were the highlight for me. The filmed opened with a gorgeous shot at dusk as a thunderstorm came roaring through. A little girl is wandering through a damp muddy field looking for her parents and at one point it’s so dark that you can only see the silhouette of her during each lightning strike. That was gorgeous. It’s on Netflix so if you’re adventurous enough to check it out it is readily available. You can at least take in the wonderful opening scene as it’s really one of only a few highlights.

2/5


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