sábado, septiembre 17, 2005


Encontré esto a través de Technorati. Creo que le va a interesar a algunos de mis lectores. Es sobre la película Cayo.

Cayo tells the story of Iván (Carlos Esteban Fonseca), a 50-year old Puerto Rican living in New York City, who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. With only six months to live, Iván decides to return, with his wife Julia (Idalia Pérez Garay) to his native island-town of Culebra, off the Puerto Rico main island. There, he is forced to come to terms with former best friend Kike (José Félix Gómez), who, thirty years earlier, while young Iván (Kamar de los Reyes) was on tour in Vietnam, had a fling with young Julia (Roselyn Sánchez), his buddy Iván’s girlfriend. Overwrought with guilt, Julia leaves Culebra to join a discharged Iván in New York City, and never come back to the island. Julia’s sudden departure destroyes the young Kike (Iván Camilo) who went on to become an alcoholic underachiever and now feels embittered by Iván and Julia’s return.

Constantly moving back and forth in time, the film’s structure often confuses and seldom sheds light. The opportunities for dramatic tension are there. Yet, they’re never exploited. Take, for instance, the love triangle between Iván, Julia, and Kike. When Iván and Julia return to Culebra, neither Julia nor Kike intends to once again pursue their affair. Furthermore, Iván is not even aware that the affair took place. And when Kike indirectly tries to tell him, Iván doesn’t even want to hear it; he is just too concerned about the fact that he’s going to die. Thus, there is no conflict.

There are some other subplots, such as Iván’s Vietnam experience and Kike’s relationship with his junky daughter, but the film just skims over them. As for the ending, it simply feels silly. But before discussing it, there’s something to be said about Iván’s main plot. When Iván arrives at Culebra, he is pessimistic. But he then starts to make friends with the fishermen, and, more importantly, to visit a key that Iván comes to believe is curing him. As he finds reasons to live, he gets a lease on life. The six months come and go, yet Iván is still very much alive. His arc is almost complete (from death to life), so on to the third act. But there’s a problem: the film hasn’t yet reached the one-hour mark. The third act of Iván's plot comes half an hour later, aproximately fifteen minutes before the end credits. By then, the love triangle plot has bored us to death; we just want the film to end.

And so it ends: death finally come to Iván in the form of two federal agents that prohibit him from setting up camp in his beloved key (the word in Spanish is “cayo”). This spurs the citizens of the town to take action. They take it to the streets (and seas) and demand that the federal government give back the key. Iván dies, but not before making peace with Kike (who was falsely accused by a local of tipping the federal agents about Iván’s camp on the key) and not before learning that “the key is ours.” This ending is supposed to evocate Puerto Rico’s recent success in forcing the U.S. Navy out of the nearby island-town of Vieques. But, notwithstanding its social and political echoes, the chosen ending doesn’t serve the emotional flow of the story.

Cayo is director Vicente Juarbe’s first film, although he didn’t get to supervise the editing, out of differences with producer Pedro Muñiz (who also co-wrote the screenplay and played a minor role as the town’s mayor). The film’s editing was the work of Pedro J. Muñiz López (the producer’s son, his first time with a feature-length film) and aging moviola veteran Alfonso Borrel. None of them could save Cayo. Pedro Muñiz and Ineabelle Colón’s screenplay is to blame for what ends up being a tiresome and out-of-focus film.

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