Monday, 26 December 2011

Marisol Centeno & co in "La Última Mirada" [2006 Mexico]

Mexican writer, director and producer Patricia Arriaga-Jordán made her feature film debut in the romantic drama, "La Última Mirada" [Eng. Title: the Last Gaze]. This may be a simple albeit charming little number for a debut, but it also has something rather interesting to say.

The film explores the idea of learning to cope with impending loss using two people of diverse backgrounds - their stories run in parallel until the penultimate scene when they meet. Homero, a successful painter discovers one day that he's suffering from a rare form of luminous blindness - he had already lost the ability to distinguish the colour green, and it was only a matter of time before he will fail to sense the colours blue and finally red. He struggles to come to terms with this inevitability. Meanwhile, young Mei is a maid working at a brothel at a neighbouring town - her mother was a prostitute there before abandoning Mei in order to elope with a truck driver. One day, when an important client is expected at the brothel, the star attraction disappears, and the brothel's madame persuades Mei to step in to the oldest profession.

While it is decently directed and ably acted by the main cast, what sets this film apart is the characterisation and screenplay. A fair amount of time is spent in developing the characters and their motives - time well spent. But judging purely from my DVD, I feel the cinematography and lighting could perhaps have been more imaginative because it is so crucial to the film's theme. The sound track is however well put together without unwanted distractions. The actress who plays Mei, Marisol Centeno, gives an excellent performance as a young girl beginning to make sense of adulthood. Overall, this is a well made above average cinema, and therefore, Recommended Viewing..!

Amazon DVD Link (some good bargains going)

Compilation: Alexa Damián, Marisol Centeno, Mónica del Carmen, and others

Alexa Damian, Marisol Centeno, and Monica del Carmen in La Ultima mirada

Scene Guide:
  • It is apparent Ikerne is a lot more than Homero's model. He invites her to one of his shows later that evening. Ikerne is played by the rather dishy Alexa Damián.
  • In the scene, Homero is unintentionally being ironic while extolling the virtue of a professional working relationship between an artist and his model.
  • Jubilant girls from the brothel flash at a passing train. The minx in the middle is To To, played by Mónica del Carmen. The other girls are played by Montserrat de León, Patricia Niguera, Rebeca Patiño, and Gabriela Zamora.
  • No nudity but interesting. Young maid Mei tries on her madame's clothing - the madame discovers and gives them to Mei as a present. Mei is played by bambi-eyed preciosa Marisol Centeno.
  • Homero visits a brothel where his taxi driver had arranged a 'Chinese' girl for a princely sum. The girl who was supposed to service him had disappeared and little Mei is arm-twisted into standing in for the missing one. This is a moving scene where Homero paints her body red all over - the only colour he could see. Mei, apprehensive at first, is gently woken up to her own sexuality just as Homero establishes his nobler intentions, which is to see a beautiful woman one last time before he goes totally blind.


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