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Under The Same Moon (la Misma Luna)
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It's easy to take cheap shots at Patricia Riggen's feature-directing debut for tugging at the heartstrings, and certainly Under the Same Moon aspires to nothing like the political and psychological complexity of The Visitor, another film involving illegal immigrants that was released around the same time. But that misses the point, the nature of the mission, and the effectiveness with which Riggen carries it out. Carlitos encounters an almost Dickensian gallery of rogues and menaces, but that's allegorically appropriate for a crossover film (pun unavoidable) aimed at the general U.S. market as well as the Latino circuit. Nor is the movie guilty (as some have charged) of flogging an Anglo-bad/Latino-good poetics; there's opportunism as well as love among Carlitos's neighbors back home, and although Rosario is exploited and cheated by one of the two L.A. households she serves as a maid, the other family appears fond, even solicitous of her.
Riggen's casting is on the money: Kate del Castillo makes a heartbreakingly lovely Rosario, and Adrián Alonso, in addition to giving a gutsy performance as Carlitos, has a marvelous old-man's face the camera never tires of. Veteran actress María Rojo creates a shrewd portrait of a woman who arranges border crossings and observes her own brand of ethics while doing so, and Eugenio Derbez brings raffish charm to a crowd-pleasing role, a guest worker who, though himself two leaps ahead of "La Migra," becomes Carlitos's reluctant protector. America Ferrara (yes, "Ugly Betty") contributes an unflattering cameo as a U.S. college student of Hispanic descent who doesn't understand Spanish. --Richard T. Jameson
Top Customer Reviews
Rosario (Kate del Castillo) is a single mother who crossed the border four years earlier in order to support her young son Carlitos (a superb young actor, Adrian Alonso) and her ailing mother by working double jobs as a housekeeper in Los Angeles. She keeps in touch with Carlitos with weekly phone calls and sends him gifts as well as money and love. When Rosario's mother dies, Carlitos takes life into his own hands and plans to cross the border with a little help from his experience with a wise old lady Coyota (Carmen Salinas) who aids immigrants. With his savings in his backpack and his heart aimed toward Los Angeles he sets out on his journey and is thwarted at every turn. He is picked up by two Hispanic students from the US (America Ferrara and Jesse Garcia) whose attempt to transport Carlitos is halted at the border - with the little Carlitos hidden under the seat of the now towed away car.Read more ›
I highly recommend this movie!
The performances, graceful music, relevant locales and (sometimes rushed but believable) scenarios fill the story line with the necessary themes to make this an inspirational film. The Superman song is hilarious as I had never heard it before - great lyrics. The most interesting thing about this experience was my 6-year old daughter (who speaks only a few words of Spanish) was completely intrigued by the entire piece. The boy actor is obviously ahead of his years, and his expressions and delivery made my girl realize what was happening without even knowing the full dialogue.
The DVD has a decent transfer, and both docus on the disc are worth watching. Docu #1 is over 30 minutes long covering the creation, inspiration and logistics of making the film. Only after watching it did I realize the power of the mother/son relationship showed in the film, even though they shared no scenes together. Docu #2 reveals the artwork/murals created for the film and in respect to the film throughout the Boyle Heights and neighboring areas. For those that revel in the appreciation of mural artwork and the artists behind them - the DVD would be a must-see just for this.
Putting aside all the political and personal issues being written here and elsewhere, I believe the whole family can sit down and watch this film. No work of fiction/reality can capture all of the complexities brushed upon by this movie, but the heart of the message shines through and will make you feel satisfied in the end.
The experiences Carlitos encounters as he crosses the border to be with his mother are not far from the truth, unfortunately.
I wish something could be done to have hard working, honest hispanics respected with citizenship and/or at least treated more humanely and given the same opportunity as other people with "papers". This movie is a step in the right direction in opening the eyes of voters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My students from Spanish 1 to Spanish 3 loved this movie! Even students who are not always as engaged were very emotionally invested in the story. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
The movie is very heartwarming, a must watch for any chicano or person interested in "Tales of the Border" thematic or immigration in general. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lirio
I really enjoyed watching this movie. I originally bought it to show during a Spanish 1 class since it is in Spanish with English subtitles, but I chose not to since there is mild... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Terri