I just saw Rosario Tijeras at the AFI Saturday night. Initially, it appears to be a story of pretty rich boy Emilio, who spots beautiful Rosario at a night club. The film darts back and forth between past and present to find out why she's shot at the night club.
Apparently, she's a bit of a bad girl. Sexually abused, she's become something of an assassin. Her brother is also an assassin, of the drive-by variety. She flirts with the rich kid hoping he can take her out of the mess that is her life.
Ultimately, it's not about the men in her life, but a glamorous potrayal of life in violent Colombia. Apparently, breast augmentation is very common in Colombia, as Rosario has had hers enhanced so they stay upright and defy gravity.
Both men, best friends Emilio, shown to be something of a dimwit, and Antonio, best friend, unable to express his love for Rosario because of his devotion to his best friend (looking very much like a Latino David Arquette).
The aspect I found most intriguing is the appeal to Catholicism. Rosario blesses the bullets her brother will use with the Virgin Mary, yet, the idea that Jesus or Mary would approve of their lifestyle is borderline ridiculous. In this society, even criminals want the blessing of Jesus. Makes you wonder.
This is, to me, Spanish Elektra. Powerful woman, who doesn't take crap from anyone, but is really a sensitive soul underneath. The men in her life are pretty playthings, and are meant to be something more serious, but in the end, are bit players without much personality.
Still, there are scenes that work, even if oddly, such as the bizarre Weekend at Bernie's with Jonhefe's (the brother) dead body, and when Emilio suddenly realizes maybe Antonio might have a thing for Rosario.
Although there's a good deal of violence, it's not of the visceral sort a la Kill Bill. Still, sounds of loud gunshots are still enough to make me nervous. I find that films that use violence to shock often resort to cheap effects, and wonder how good a film one can make where no one dies.
I'd give the film a B-. It's reasonably well-acted, but I didn't exactly get what the story was trying to say. Pretty people in violent situations, I suppose.
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