An “Afternoon Special,” Peru-style, this amiable kid-aimed item offers a fresh take on the ongoing troubles in that South American nation. Pic is ultimately both too busy and too simplistic to make arthouse waves offshore, but it could be bright fare for adventurous pubcasters (note ZDF’s principal involvement).
Veteran helmer Augusto Tamayo starts with an intriguing Romeo-and-Juliet combo and lets things happen from there. In fact, the leads, and their characters, are holdovers from two of his previous films, “Gregorio” and “Juliana,” both from the mid-1980s. Now 22, the Andean-born Gregorio (likable Marino Leon) works at a gas station while trying to get into college, while the same-aged Juliana (the thornier Rosa Isabel Morffino) does whatever she can to keep herself and a raft of slum-dwelling kids in beans and rice. These two meet cute – she sort of picks his pocket, but not really – and then he can’t seem to get rid of her. Eventually, she’s struck by his almost unique sincerity, but before the hard-bitten Juliana can make an honest gesture toward him, they are both swept up in a violent chain of events involving political terrorists, two-bit thugs and bull-headed cops.
“Go, Run, Fly” takes an interesting attitude toward these participants, reflecting a somewhat jaundiced view of a country in which many people have fallen into strait-jacketed roles, whether radical or reactionary. The police are presented as being more simple-minded than evil, and there’s a particularly intriguing subplot about an old leftist lawyer who’s too burned-out (and juiced-up) to pursue the oh-so-wrongful arrest of Gregorio.
Pic could have used more such subtleties: its second half is taken up with endless chases and near-catastrophes, and it falls into repetition. Also, Juliana’s oft-spoken plans to open a rock ‘n’ roll club with the flower-selling children give the tale a pipe-dream quality that tends to sugarcoat its harsh realities.
Still, the glucose (even if the heroine’s history of poverty and abuse is readily apparent) is exactly what will make it palatable to teenage auds, who can use the pic as a generally safe entry into some difficult issues. Lensing is crisp and colorful throughout, the mixed-bag music adds sparkle, and the acting, although essentially workmanlike, is engaging enough to make up for holes in a script that could have operated on several more levels without losing its elemental appeal. “Fly” it won’t, but this pic deserves a good run in tube and educational circles.