12 April 2005 | jotix100
"Amar te Duele", as well as some recent films from Mexico, introduces international audiences into an inside look of the society south of the border. Director Eduardo Sarinana clearly demonstrates he is an original. In many ways this movie presents the ugly side of discrimination in that country. In a way, the screen play, by Carolina Rivera, capitalizes in a variation of the Romeo and Juliet story, as it presents us with a couple of teen agers in love, each one coming from different worlds.
Ulises, the graffiti artist and comic book writer, is a young man with a lot of talent. His only problem is being poor and coming from the type of family the upper classes of Mexico look down upon because of being 'brown' instead as pure white. Ulises doesn't have anything to be ashamed of; he comes from a loving home where both parents work in their modest business.
Enter the lovely Renata. She is a girl of privilege. We see her and her friends roaming the local mall doing what that type of girl with money and credit cards take for granted. On a dare, she goes to Ulises, who is following her and kisses him, thus setting things in motion for the tragedy that will follow.
Mr. Sarinana is an innovative director. He incorporates some of the popular culture into the film. In a great sequence, we are shown, in split screens and in comic book fashion different aspects of what Ulises has been doing, complete with captions. It is a brilliant departure for traditional Mexican film making. The use of color and black and white is quite remarkable, as it adds another layer to the texture of the finished product.
Unfortunately, the story is doomed from the start. We know how things work and realize there could be no justice, or mercy, for Ulises. For that matter, Renata will not be able to find happiness because in her world, certain things can't be tolerated.
The director gets good performances of his young cast. Luis Fernando Pena and Martha Higareda, as Ulises and Renata, are appealing as the young lovers. Mr. Sarinana also gets great performances of the large ensemble cast.
"Amar te Duele" is worth a look to acquaint yourself with a fine film maker to be reckoned with.