What a waste of time and neurons

Talent Press Guadalajara participant Jose Juan Zapata Pacheco reviews Raul Fuentes' debut film EVERYBODY'S GOT SOMEBODY... NOT ME.

EVERYBODY'S GOT SOMEBODY... NOT ME, by director Raul Fuentes

To what extent can two completely different individuals mix together? And, when love arises, what kind of things can we question about ourselves? Raul Fuentes raises some of these queries in an unconventional way through a love relationship between a middle-aged woman and a high-school student in his debut film EVERYBODY'S GOT SOMEBODY... NOT ME.

Alejandra, who works as an editor, and Maria, a private high-school student, are alienated by their own cultural environments. Alejandra is a snob, insulated in a narrow-minded intellectual world; she seems to loathe youth and even says “What a waste of time and neurons” when she attends a party with Maria. The latter, bored with her peers, finds in Alejandra a partner that can open a whole new world for her. However, she is not willing to leave behind her youthful interests, which is what Alejandra wants her to do.

Andrea Portal and Naian Daeva play these women in a natural and free-flowing way. Their work even overcomes this story full of stereotypes and pretentious reactions: While Alejandra gives deep and artistic speeches; Maria is always interrupted by a phone call. Furthermore, it seems the director is looking forward to saturating the audience with cultural references by quoting songs and books over and over again during the film, which doesn’t contribute to shape the film.

The director uses soft black-and-white color schemes as well as front shots and horizontal and vertical camera displacements, which allows him to develop sequences harmoniously. The main characters are always taken from a side angle or face to face, except for the jazz club sequence, shaded using chiaroscuro technique, in which Alejandra dances with her lover. To oppose the personality of both women, the director has chosen to constantly show Maria’s sneakers and Alejandra’s shoes.

It is worth pointing out that this film restricts its vision only to Mexican upper-middle class from Del Valle and Coyoacan residential areas, a delimitated sector the director seems to transform into an intellectual, refined and ideal world. The only times these scenarios are left behind, just a few beggars and boozers appear as silent witnesses of the action.

This film inquires into a generational clash and Alejandra’s inability to evade the inflexibility of her intellectual world which makes her feel lonely and pushes her to be always looking for short-term love affairs. However, Fuentes was not able to pose more complex questions. Both women seem to be set adrift in a frivolous and empty world that neither books nor parties are able to question.