Saturday, October 8, 2011

DiDi Hollywood


DiDi Hollywood tells the story of Diana Díaz (Elsa Pataky), a barista in a Spanish bar who dreams of being an actress. Calling it quits, she decides to leave her job and her best friend Maria to go to Miami, the  hotspot of the Latino entertainment industry in the United States. After many casting calls but not landing any roles, she meets Nora, who becomes her new best friend on the other side of the Atlantic. She does become a big star, but she does not get there without paying a steep price, which gets her thinking if everything is really worth it.

You do not need to have supernatural powers to predict how the story is going to be because DiDi herself tells you at the very beginning, at the moment of her big debut (the premiere night of her big movie in Spain), that she could hear the applause of the audience but she had to sacrifice a lot to get there. Right there and then you would know that it would be another sad Hollywood success story.

Beautiful girl who looks like Sandra Bullock goes to America to pursue the American dream, sleeps with influential people to get connections, falls in and out of love, etc, before she reaches the top. You already know how this goes. You do not need to watch a movie about Hollywood to know how it works. You only observe the many attention hungry celebutards of the month, ahem, the Kardashians, ahem. Sorry, I choked. This film is from the point of view of the Spaniards this time, but the story is really just the same.

Where this film probably succeeds in is on how it makes DiDi’s life so tragic. With a face like that I don’t think she had to suffer so much. By “suffer” I mean: being enveloped in Saran Wrap, getting her vajayjay duck taped, and all those visually disturbing events that had to happen so that you could see in the end how she has turned into this woman who has been driven by her ambition to the edge of a cliff where the only thing left to do is jump.

I have to say that there are many tragic success stories in Hollywood, but a lot of the famous people there now made it without going through all this absurd humiliation. Or perhaps we just do not know the real story. Everyone makes a sacrifice to achieve what one really wants, but it is really up to you as to how low you are going to stoop in order to achieve something, even if it means losing your dignity along the way. Ambition does that to people, and the results are often tragic.

Ambition is cool. It motivates you to go for something instead of just wasting your life trying to figure out what to do with it. This contrast is somehow highlighted by the huge leap taken by DiDi to further her career as opposed to her best friend Maria’s fixed life. As DiDi works her way up the rungs of Hollywood, Maria has no other dialogue aside from “I’m going to leave my boyfriend” every time she appears on cam. It is just interesting to note the contrast, although this is really not the focus of the movie.

In a way this reminds me of Rubí, except that here the primary motivation of the protagonist is the pursuit of fame. Regardless, both stories are about ambition, and how this driving force could be self-destructive if you let it control you instead of the other way around.

I do not think this movie is anti-Hollywood. It just presents its own perspective regarding celebrity and how people aspire to have it, to be it. Nowadays almost everyone has that insatiable longing to be famous. Heck, a lot of people nowadays are famous because they are famous. Gone were the days when fame relied on how talented or unique one is. Nowadays you only have to capitalize on fame itself to be famous. You don’t need to be the best in something. Just leak out your home made sex video or have a camera crew follow you around all day and that is a TV show already.

But that is the in thing nowadays, and the media perpetuates such mentality. It would be difficult to shift the public’s consciousness to another direction. Hence, I believe this would continue, specially now that technology is ever permitting in tolerating everyone’s retarded illusion that they are popular.

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