Javier Patrón’s first feature-length film “Fuera del Cielo” [Eng. Title: Beyond the Sky] is a gritty crime thriller set amidst the bad streets of Mexico City where we follow two parallel stories – one of two brothers down on their luck, and the other of a senator’s relationship with his chronically ill daughter. You guessed it – it is a bleak film with very little respite or humour, and if you’ve seen it before, you’re unlikely to rush to watch it again anytime soon. My DVD too had been gathering dust on the shelf for some time before this post…
Malboro and younger brother Cucú reunite when the elder brother returns after serving time. Cucú is training to become a professional boxer, but is also a petty criminal, and has a lot of anger stacked inside him. Malboro wants him to turn a new leaf, but he has issues of his own, not least learning to deal with his arch enemy – Rojas, a corrupt cop who not only put him behind bars for five years, but also married Sara, the woman Malboro had planned to elope with. Malboro still loves Sara and wants her back, but she fears she may once again be left to fend for herself alone with teenage daughter Elisa, and is reluctant to commit anything. Rojas catches wind of Malboro’s release, and wants to find an excuse to put him away for good. An opportunity presents itself when Cucu, Malboro and their uncle lock the senator in the boot after stealing his car, with an excuse to celebrate Cucú’s birthday in style. Rojas will catch up with Malboro, but not before he’d decided to stop running away from him…
Working with an impressive cast such as Damián Alcázar (Rojas), Demián Bichir (Malboro), Isela Vega (Malboro’s mother), Dolores Heredia (Sara), and the talented Armando Hernández (Cucú) and Martha Higareda (Elisa), director Javier Patrón succeeds in showing us a part of Mexican life in all its mucky detail, even though it is at times judgemental and to an extent clichéd. The weakest part of the screenplay however has to be the film’s climax – we’re left with too many questions and few answers. I don’t disapprove of the ending as such, but there hasn’t been an adequate build-up to it. In summary, while the film may not exactly be easy viewing, it is a promising debut for Javier Patrón who makes a sincere effort in keeping it real. Recommended Viewing!
Amazon DVD Link [NTSC]
There are brief scenes of nudity from Elizabeth Cervantes, Armando Hernández, and Demián Bichir. Cervantes plays stripper Rebeca, the girlfriend of Cucú and she pretty much fits the part to a ‘t’, even giving us a stripshow in the film. Hernández and Bichir appear nude when they hit the showers after some training.