Review: ‘Without Sound or Sonia’

A romantic comedy/farcical thriller from Mexico aimed at teens, "Without Sound or Sonia" misfires in several directions at once. Two couples split up and recombine with problematic new partners, while a gang of woolly organ thieves led by Mama Rosa from Texas create murder and mayhem. Outside Mexico, few doors look open to pic.

A romantic comedy/farcical thriller from Mexico aimed at teens, “Without Sound or Sonia” misfires in several directions at once. Two couples split up and recombine with problematic new partners, while a gang of woolly organ thieves led by Mama Rosa from Texas create murder and mayhem. If the couples story lacks charm and the mad assassins aren’t funny, climax brings the threads together in a predictable hash. Helmer Carlos Sama, whose background is directing commercials, has a muscular style but the uncredited screenplay gives him little to work with. Outside Mexico, few doors look open to this local Columbia Pictures co-production.

Orlando (Juan Manuel Bernal) is a neurotic dubbing director whose g.f. Sonia (Mariana Gaja) is heavily into New Age. He latches onto sexy Rene (Cecilia Suarez), who takes a holiday from her computer-obsessed boyfriend (Jose Maria Yazpik). Meanwhile, in an embarrassingly juvenile subplot, other couples are kidnapped by Mama Rosa’s gang and cut up on the operating table under the nose of two bumbling American lawmen. Deliberately stripped of all references to Mexico City, the setting is dully generic, though camerawork is colorful.

Without Sound or Sonia

Mexico-U.S.

Production

A Columbia TriStar release (in Mexico) of a United Angels, Columbia Pictures, Reider Films, Fidecine production. Produced by Salvador de la Fuente, Erwin Neumaier. Directed by Carlos Sama.

Crew

Camera (color), Federico Barbabosa; editor, Alejandro Rodriguez; production designer, Miguel Angel Alvarez; costume designer, Barbara Gonzalez; sound (DTS, Dolby THX), Antonio Diego. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (Horizons), Sept. 23, 2003. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Juan Manuel Bernal, Cecilia Suarez, Mariana Gaja, Jose Maria Yazpik, Tara Parra, Donaldo Cortes, Blake Gibbons, Byron Thames.
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