Cumbia Connection

Breezy tale of two dudes vying for a comely lass in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey is nearly dialogue-free, driven simply by the desires, voyeuristic gazes and favored "Colombiano" soundtrack of its youthful protags.

With:
With: Fernanda Garcia Castaneda, Oliver Cantu, Andul Zambrano, Celso Pina, Emma Mirthala, Ruben Gonzalez Garza.

A wisp of plot, sexy leads and lots of music genially float “Cumbia Connection,” Rene U. Villareal’s debut feature. Breezy tale of two dudes vying for a comely lass in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey is nearly dialogue-free, driven simply by the desires, voyeuristic gazes and favored “Colombiano” soundtrack of its youthful protags. Fest dates could lead to DVD and broadcast sales in offshore Spanish-language markets while giving the primary talent a career leg up.

Middle-class wedding videographer El Neto (puppy-eyed Oliver Cantu) is shooting random street scenes when he spies flamboyantly dressed bombshell La Cori (Fernanda Garcia Castaneda). She and buff, mohawked b.f. El Guipiri (Andul Zambrano) are in turn eyeing a pair of pink high-tops, which they soon shoplift. El Neto follows the fleeing girl; hot-and-heavy romance ensues. This doesn’t please El Guipiri, though director/co-scenarist Villareal suggests they might well menage-a-trois happily ever after. Antonio Beitrain’s camera never stops moving, though lighting is a bit too consistently bright and flat. Near-incessant, easy-rolling songs by local artists figure prominently in, and sometimes comment on, the slight but ingratiating narrative.

Cumbia Connection

Mexico

Production: A Cumbia Regia Films production, in association with Produccion Cinematografica de Calidad, Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografia. (International sales: Cumbia Regia Films, San Pedro, Mexico.) Produced by Rene U. Villarreal. Executive producer, Ozcar Ramirez Gonzalez. Directed, edited by Rene U. Villarreal. Screenplay, Ana Rebuelta, Villarreal, from a story idea by Villarreal.

Crew: Camera (color), Antonio Beitrain; music, Luis Manuel Lopez Carrera, Jose Manuel Mendoza Alvarez, Javier de Lira. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (Focus on World Cinema), Aug. 29, 2008. Original title: Cumbia callera. Running time: 94 MIN.

With: With: Fernanda Garcia Castaneda, Oliver Cantu, Andul Zambrano, Celso Pina, Emma Mirthala, Ruben Gonzalez Garza.

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