Friday, April 1, 2011
We Are What We Are, aka Somos lo que hay (2010)
Dir - Jorge Michel Grau
Missed this one at Fantastic Fest and luckily the Texas Theatre was showing it this week. Some of what I read about this film compared it Let the Right One In, saying that this does for cannibals what that did for vampires. I can see where they are going but it's not nearly as good as it's bloodsucker Swedish comrade. This Mexican film deals with what goes on in a poor family after the death of the father. Who should take over, the eldest boy or the mother? There is a power struggle and grief set against the backdrop that they are all cannibals. Where this falls short is because of some confusing struggles between the son and mother that existed long before his father's death, none of which is explored too deeply or explained. I'm all for leaving ambiguity, like with the whole human eating ritual thing, but it seemed too much was left unexplored.
I did love certain aspects of this film. Grau did a lot with his obviously tight budget and there is some great camerawork in certain scenes that brought a smile to my face. What really stands out is sound, in all forms. The sound design is fantastic in their project home that is filled with Doc Brown levels of clocks and the constant cacophony of ticking is mesmerizing. But special attention must be given to Enrico Chapela's lovely string heavy score. Even if I would normally leave a film before the end credits are complete, which I don't, I would have been unable to leave because the music was so damn good. To my dismay there is no soundtrack currently in release, as far as I can find, but I hope someday they release one because they will get my money for sure!