14 October 2004 | vovnutar
Mexican Soap Opera of the Future
For me, "Zurdo" is a kind of a film-a-clef, not because it disguises real events, but rather because I was confused all throughout the first half of the film until I came upon an interpretational key that put everything in perspective. The key is as follows: "Zurdo" is essentially about two years worth of weekly Mexican futuristic soap opera, compacted into feature-length format. The plot and the setting are nominally fantastic, but this structure is entirely filled with classical soap opera content.
The beauty of this setup has dawned on me only towards the end of the film. Every soap-opera-tearjerking-scene, every sob, every cliché have been compacted at a ratio of about 5:1. There are no pauses between the closely intercut scenes, sometimes the viewer is rushed between three different locations within a minute. The effect is that every scene, gesture and word become a reference to themselves. What allows the director to do this is that the elements soap opera are immediately recognizable; no time need be spent on the development.
If not only a post-modernist treatment of the soap opera genre, it might well be that "Zurdo" is the high-bandwidth soap opera of the future.