Güeros (London Film Festival 2014) Review
According to a dictionary introduction, “Güeros” is the definition of someone with blond hair or light skin. It’s also the name of anb energetic debut by Alonso Ruizpalacios that’s full of visual flair without adding up to much. Güeros begins with a misdirected water-balloon, and keeps the misdirection flowing. Tomás (Sebastián Aguirre) is punished by his mother and sent to stay with his brother Sombra (Tenoch Huerta) at university during a strike. However, Sombra and his friend (Leonardo Ortizgris) are “taking a strike from the strike” (easily the script’s best line) to instead embark on a road trip in search of a musician who once made Bob Dylan cry.The aimless joviality is a mixture of Godard (mainly Breathless) and Jarmusch (mainly Coffee and Cigarettes) without committing to either. Ruizpalacious is inventive with crisp black-and-white cinematography that spins in circles or gives way to the hypnotic beat of slackers munching carrots. But for 106 minutes, Güeros struggles to maintain any momentum and demonstrates why Jarmusch limited each Coffee and Cigarettes segment to 10 minutes. The characters are mere props, which isn’t really excused by a meta-joke in which the director makes a cameo to request feedback. With false humility, the fourth wall is playfully shattered to reveal the “chase movie” isn’t really chasing anything. I guess they’re happy enough to be on strike.’Güeros’ is playing London Film Festival 2014 as part of the Journey strand. Ticket information can be found here.