Review: ‘90 Miles’

A dramatically risky take on the attempted flight of a family of Cubans to Miami that's mostly set aboard a raft, "90 Miles" has worthy political intentions, decent perfs and several intense moments, but the on-raft scenes are repetitive and attempts to liven things up by introducing standard ocean-going motifs look tacked-on.

A dramatically risky take on the attempted flight of a family of Cubans to Miami that’s mostly set aboard a raft, “90 Miles” has worthy political intentions, decent perfs and several intense moments, but the on-raft scenes are repetitive and attempts to liven things up by introducing standard ocean-going motifs (drug traffickers, shark) look tacked-on. Limited fest exposure is a possibility.

Rolando (Enrique Molina) and wife Josefa (Daisy Granados) are joined on a raft by their sons Luis (Sergio Lucas), David (Jorge Herrera) and his wife Maria (the statuesque Claudia Rojas), and their young son Albertico (Joel Guillen) and their taxi driver buddy, pistol-toting Alberto (Alexis Valdes). When they hit land only to discover that they have gone in a circle, things start to go badly wrong. The script, however, doesn’t deal effectively with the increasingly high emotional stakes as the characters die off one by one. Dialogue, which appears to be improvised, would have benefited from less pained abstractions and more information about their circumstances. The final sequence, with only two survivors, is authentically grueling. Valdes and Rojas stand out. High-profile Hispanic clown Emilio Aragon (Miliki) cameos.

90 Miles

Spain

Production

A Diorama release of a Sateco production. (International sales: Diorama, Madrid.) Produced by Enrique Salaberria, Miguel Angel Derqui. Directed by Francisco Rodriguez. Screenplay, Jorge Herrera.

Crew

Camera (color), Domingo Solano, Pablo Hernandez; editor, Alberto Garcia Triguero; music, Pedro Luis Martinez; art director, Gabriel Carrascal. Reviewed at Yelmo Cineplex Ideal, Madrid, June 5, 2005. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Alexis Valdes, Claudia Rojas, Jorge Herrera, Sergio Lucas, Enrique Molina, Daisy Granados, Joel Guillen, Emilio Aragon (Miliki).
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