Wednesday, October 5, 2011

La vergüenza

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Pepe (Alberto San Juan) and Lucia (Natalia Mateo) are the foster parents of an eight year old Peruvian boy whose strange behavior drives them crazy every single day. Only the maid Rosa (Norma Martínez) who also happens to be from Perú seems to be the only one who could get along well with the child. This makes the couple rethink their plan of totally adopting him. In the midst of an interrogation session with the new social worker in charge of the adoption case, the two reflect on their readiness for parenthood and discover many secrets they have been keeping from each other along the way, leading them to reevaluate not only their decision to keep or return the boy, but also the status of their own relationship as a couple.

The cool thing is that the whole movie just takes place within a day, but the development of the characters does not seem contrived at all. The director is successful in introducing us to his characters in that in the short amount of time that you spend in the cinema watching them, afterwards it would seem that you have known them for years. There are no flashbacks, just tons of dialogue that narrate past events while piquing the emotions of the characters to give you good crying scenes.

Talking about crying scenes, there are a handful here that come out of the blue and most of them are courtesy of  San Juan who is a very good cryer! One minute he is joking, and then next thing you know he is sobbing like a baby! Mateo is also very effective in the drama scenes and her character seems to be more level-headed than the husband. You root for her here because she really does a good job demonstrating the struggles of a mother and a wife trying to reconcile a lot of things in the household for a better relationship among the family members, truly the  family's guiding light.

What this movie tells us is that the success of a family does not only depend on good parenthood, but also on the healthy relationship between husband and wife. How can a family work when the two pillars are not built on good foundation? In the movie this is shown through Pepe, who constantly puts the blame on the kid for all the stress they are going through in the house, when in fact a lot of problems could also be blamed on them, the parents.

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