Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Movie Review: The Desert Within

What if you committed a sin that killed your wife and your son? What if you tried to build a church for the Lord but instead, your good intentions were the path to hell for yourself and for your family. Then you will be at The desert within.

I had never heard of the director, Rodrigo Plá, before. I had no real idea of the film except for the small plot that was in my PIFF book. It stated that the film was about a man perceived sin and how he tries to build a church to appease God, so God will forgive him for this sin. Is sounded interesting and I went in to see the film.

Before the film started the PIFF staff stated that their would be a beer special served after this film. I had no idea how to interpret that, was the film that bad that we, the audience, would need a beer to clear or minds or was this just a tie-in sponsorship?

The film is told from the point of view from the youngest of the 8 children, Aureliano, as he watches his family build a church designed to save them from sin. You are then shown 2-D animation about God that is intertwined through the movie and every time that the animation was on the screen the audience appeared to react very favorably to it.

You are shown that Aureliano has an allergy to the dust and can not go outside and play with his brothers and sisters. You start to feel sorry for this young man as his only job in to paint pictures for the church that tell of God's love for the world and his family.

It was after the first 30 minutes of the film that I noticed that the audience was not really into the film. It just seemed to repeat the same point over and over again about a false sin and how it was slowly killing all of the children. This part I though the film could have used a tighter edit. It started to drag and the audience was never really back into the film after this. A few of the audience members started to lose total interest and went to sleep.

The film went at this slow pace for about 70 minutes until the end of the film. At the end of this film, the director attempted to show what had happened and because of the righteous path the father and his children committed sins and in the end could not save most of the family nor could the director save this film.

After the film had ended, I did a quick poll of the audience, most loved the animation but would not recommend the film to their friends. One man stated that the beer was needed so he could erase this film from his mind.

I left the film with a neutral attitude. I liked the fact that the film showed what can happen between a brother and a sister but the film needed a much tighter edit that we were given. Desierto Adentro or The Desert Within is worth a DVD rental.

Grade: C-

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