It’s unfortunate that I had to start an important Latin American director’s filmography in the blog with a totally forgettable film – I’d wanted to review Francisco J. Lombardi’s most recent film “Ella” [Eng. Title: She] before getting into his rightly awarded and famous earlier political and social dramas.
Ella – well she has a name too – Luna (Patricia Garza), is actually about her much older husband and painter Alfredo (Paul Vega), and his choice of actions/reactions after she decides to leave him for a lover that he wasn’t aware of. Alberto has been going through a creative crisis and is under pressure to complete a series of paintings for a forthcoming show. It is nevertheless also plain to see that he’d been treating Luna, who’s also his model, largely as an object of desire and obsession – capturing with camera her every movement in the house when she’s not posing for him, and memorising her every physical feature, moles and warts included – he’d apparently counted twenty seven moles on her body. When Alfredo tracks down and entraps the lover she’d wanted to elope with (Rómulo Assereto), he’ll discover that they both have more in common than merely desiring the same woman…
A cuckolded husband and his wife’s lover getting to know each other and bonding over their common object of desire is as good a premise as any for creating drama – it is intriguing even, but it is in the execution – particularly the screenplay and rather pedestrian performances that the film is let down – it resembles the rough cut of an unfinished film or a nondescript TV drama than a major director’s work. More worryingly, the film is not even being ironic when it seemingly rewards men for their selfish motives – artistic struggle or not, and it is always depressing to see a good plot wasted with poor screenplay and characterisation. The film’s title too should have probably been El cuerpo de Luna – because we don’t get to see a person – only her body, whether alive or dead. But for those still interested, a DVD order link can be found below.
The Nudity: Patricia Garza
Cute Mexican actress Patricia Garza appears only in a few scenes, and she’s nude in most of them with very few words to say, and we hardly get to know her character (Luna) any better even after the credits start rolling.