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Wednesday, Jul 22 2015

Shot in glorious black-and-white, Alonso Ruiz Palacios' Güeros follows the indie-slacker template to the letter, but it ultimately meanders too much for its own good. In 1999, disaffected teenager Tomás (Sebastián Aguirre) is sent to live with his older brother Sombra (Tenoch Huerta), who attends the National University in Mexico City, but has been mostly been just hanging out with a friend and skipping the current student strike. Tomás, meanwhile, is determined to track down his idol, a 1960s-vintage folk-rocker named Epigmenio Cruz, who's rumored to be dying in a local hospital. The microbudgeted Güeros gets remarkable production value out of the University strike, where the movie threatens to veer into an actual compelling plot with the introduction of Sombra's girlfriend Ana (Ilse Salas), who is committed to the cause but also observes that most of the guys are there to hit on girls.  (A scene of the black-haired Ana putting on a striped shirt and dark makeup also evokes A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, surely unintentionally.) Güeros does have some interesting formalistic experiments, such as the sound cutting out whenever Tomás listens to Cruz on his headphones, thus allowing to the viewer to fill in the blanks on their own. And they'll likely do the same for the film as a whole.


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Sherilyn Connelly


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