December 07, 2013

La Playa DC (2012)

La Playa DC (2012) - Movie Review
Directed by: Juan Andrés Arango
Country: Colombia / others

Movie Review: Drugs and racism are addressed without any special feature in this drama focused on Tomas, an Afro-Colombian teenager who tries to survive in the streets of Bogotá after leaving home due to incompatibility with his mother’s white boyfriend. When he learns about the disappearance of his traumatized and drug addict younger brother, Jairo, he starts beating the streets, joined by his other brother Chaco whose dream is to leave for north. An opportunity to work as barber will be given to Tomas, but the good winds don't blow to his side, since he lost the confidence of his employer, all to save his brother from the drug dealers’ hands. Observant yet somehow bashful, “La Playa DC” seems to accept too easily the fate of these brave kids, painting a too bland and softened picture of a reality that requires some more stimulating vibes to be distinguishable. Debutant writer/director and former cinematographer, Juan Andrés Arango, despite the good intentions, lingers too much in stories about hair and haircuts instead of putting a bit more anger and frustration in the scenes. This way the film loses the additional strength that the drama needed to be placed above similar works. With moments of real tension being just a mirage, “La Playa DC” turned out to be another volatile, low-key exercise on street survival and broken family. Nonprofessional actor Juan Carlos Guevara did a competent job.

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