Raúl Quintanilla’s directorial feature film debut, “Mar de Fondo” [Eng. Trans: Sea-Swell] tries hard not to be grouped among the myriad melodramas that Mexican TV is famous for – the stunning locale (Puerto Vallarta), confident direction, and an interesting storyline are proof enough of its ambitiousness.
Jorge arrives with girlfriend Eva to catch up with his elder brother Silvestre, who’s yet to come to terms with fiancée Rossana’s death in a motor accident. Erratic and with violent mood swings, Silvestre is addicted to drugs and alcohol, and hallucinates Rossana’s sympathetic presence by his side at all times. A childhood friend of the siblings also drops by the seaside resort along with his fiancée. After an altercation with Silvestre one night, the two couples decide to go sailing, and Jorge and Eva get off at an uninhabited island to spend some time on their own. But an unexpected sea swell will spell peril for the couples, both in terms of their lives and relationships. While their drama is unfolding at sea, back at the resort, Silvestre has overdosed…
Apparently inspired by true events, the film tries to tell an unconventional love story while examining relationships. But the screenplay needs more work, and the performances by some of the actors are pedestrian, which inevitably invite comparisons with run-of-the-mill Mexican melodramas – I found no discernible ‘swell’ of emotions in any of the characters the film follows. Having said that, some parts of the film were well done, particularly those relating to the Rossana character. It is nevertheless a decent debut for Mr. Quintanilla, and hopefully his films would only get better.
Aura Cristina Geithner, Adriana Da Silva, and María José Magán
The film features some brief scenes of nudity from Aura Cristina Geithner who plays Eva, and Adriana Da Silva who plays Silvestre’s one-night fling that goes wrong.