DRAMA / MEX (NARANJO)

Remember the sandy beaches of Acapulco? It’s been a long time since American tourists have been seen in this Mexican resort town, now a shadow of its former self where bands of teenagers roam to the far edges of their youth. Shot by young mexican director Gerardo Naranjo and produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, Drama/Mex (IFC First Take) takes place in one day–not a memorable day but one where desperate lives intersect in surprising ways.Tigrillo is a teenager who finds a family with the ahairas, a harmless gang of flirtatious girls working the beachfront hotels, looking for an unsuspecting gringo to score cash, jewelry, a cigarette? She runs into Jaime (Fernando Becerril) and an unlikely alliance is formed. At first two curious strangers, what tenderness develops between them saves lives; Jaime’s life. In the film’s first scene, Chano (Emilio Valdes) is arguing with his ex-girlfriend Fer (Diana Garcia). He wants her back but his entreaties are in vain: Fer’s got a new man named Gonzalo (Juan Pablo Castaneda). The sexual tension between Chano and Fer gets the better of them and a fight with Gonzalo soon ensues. These lives (of others) succeed each other in the camera’s foreground, though the conclusions are confined to a specific vignette. With Drama/Mex Gerardo Naranjo establishes himself as a very promising director, and show us a world where things can easily go astray all the while keeping a tight hold on the converging stories; every element he introduces is played out later in the film, leaving no loose ends or daunting questions (Drama/Mex is slated for a July 11th release)

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