28 December 2017 | EdgarST
Eight steps to recitation
A gang of five road laborers has the task of painting the discontinuous yellow line between two Mexican towns, under inclement sun, camping during cold night and finishing the work before the rains come. The crew consists of a watchman, a waiter, a circus worker, a thief and a truck driver, all previously unemployed. The instruction is to take five steps painting the line with a machine that atomizes the paint on the road and then take another eight steps without painting. This strategy is similar to the structure of Celso García's script, who debuted as a director with "The Thin Yellow Line", under the auspice of producers Bertha Navarro ("Reed: Insurgent Mexico"), Alejandro Springall ("Santitos") and Guillermo del Toro ("The Labyrinth of the Faun"). The idea is valid. The problem is that every eight steps equates to pauses in the action so all five men can make forced statements of their personal pasts. In contrast, the five steps of work are the most interesting. When the five men work or solve obstacles, their actions define them better than their (often-overemotional) recitations of what happened to them in the past. The five actors are very good and they do the best they can with their dialogues. But besides this weak point of the script, you have montages of scenes of "camaraderie" with gay music, overused resolutions and shots (for example, when a patient is carried in gurney, we the audience watch the ceiling and lights), a bitch that adds the "Disney touch ", a short flirt with a beautiful girl, plus a gruesome ending. As a result it turns into a poor drama instead of a plausible first work.