29 January 2017 | EdgarST
"Han matado a Tongolele" is a rare incursion by director Roberto Gavaldón into the world of cabarets. He guarantees a general good execution, with notable "mise en camera" of the musical numbers, filmed with above average grace, based on a winding crime story by Ramón Obón, the creator of ingenious plots of Mexican horror films, such as the classic "El vampiro" and "Misterios de ultratumba". It is a story of jealousy, passion and death in a variety theater, in which Tongolele has bedazzled the entire male cast: a young journalist (David Silva), a Chinese magician (Seki Sano), the stage director (Julian de Meriche) and an ex-lover (Manuel Arvide), as well as the theater manager (José Baviera) for economic reasons. Except for the future groom, everyone hates the idea of losing the star one way or another, when she announces her plan to marry Silva. However, the weakest point in the whole thing is precisely Tongolele, a beautiful North American who made a career in Mexico as an exotic dancer, but whose limited histrionic capacity shows when she interacts (with a slight accent) with her co-protagonists. Besides her numbers are rather bland. They say comparisons are odious, but there is a fact that cannot be hid: Tongolele's dance is a repetitive pelvic movement that pales in front of the wiggle of her colleagues Ninón Sevilla, Meche Barba, Rosa Carmina or Maria Antonieta Pons, who literally tore down the house whenever they heard the beat of congas and bongos. Apart from this, add a loose leopard, a jealous Chinese wife (Concepción Lee) and a drug addict chorus girl (Lilia Prado) and her twin sister, and you can spend a little over one hour of music, mystery and melodrama, but little else.