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CANNES — There’s a scene right at the beginning of “Chicuarotes,” Gael García Bernal’s second movie as a director, where Cagalera and Moleteco, two teens from the humble San Gregorio Atlapulco district of Mexico City, board a bus in clown’s makeup, and launch into a clumsy comedic sketch.
Maybe because it’s delivered in San Gregorio Atlapulco argot, their effort to beg some money goes totally ignored.
Cagalera - Revolver - Passengers - Money - Mobiles
Then Cagalera pulls out a revolver. The passengers duly cough up money, mobiles. Cagalera and Moleteco escape to the bouncy strains of a Spanish-language version of “I Fought the Law.”
That’s the only way to go, pull out a gun, Cagalera tells Moleteco.
Augusto - Mendoza - Mr - Pig - Abel
Written by Augusto Mendoza (“Mr. Pig,” “Abel,”) in the slang of San Gregorio, where he grew up – “chicuarotes” refers there to both a type of chili and to hardheaded individuals – the film follows Cagalera and Moleteco’s increasingly desperate attempts to buy a ticket out of San Gregorio, its poverty, violence. When they hear they can purchase membership of an electricians’ guild, which will give them a job for life. But only Cagalera’s teen girlfriend, Sugehili, seems to really have a sense of reality. Cagalera conceives a hare-brained scheme to abduct a kid he sees walking home by the river. His masterplan soon goes tragically awray.
“Chicuarotes” is produced by La Corriente del Golfo, the production house Garcia bernal and Diego Luna set up last year, and Cinematográfica Amaranto in co-production with Televisa and Pulse Films. It is produced by Marta Núñez Puerto, Gael García Bernal and Thomas Benski.
Blender- - Crime - Farce - Family - Melodrama
A genre blender- a tragic crime farce,. family melodrama and coming of age drama – “Chicuarotes” asks big questions: Whether violence is ever any solution, its origins in Mexico, the country’s capacity to change.
Variety talked to Gael Garcia Bernal about these and other questions in Cannes as...
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