Myview: All Your Dead Ones

I came to Stockholm, I saw a bunch of movies, I left for home. This is the first review of eight dealing with the films I saw during the Stockholm Filmfestival 2011.

                                         All Your Dead Ones (Colombia, 2011)

Plot: The story revolves around the peasant farmer Salvador who discovers fifty corpses in a big pile in the middle of his cornfield. The massacre sends him to fetch the police, they don’t want this incident to sully the towns name and they have to find a way to get rid of the bodies without anyone noticing. And down that line the movie trots…

First Impression: While I’m not all that literate in the political climate of Colombia these days, I am quite aware of the turbulence (the thoughts of power struggles and drug lords spring to mind, for some reason) and so the fact that someone would dump a bunch of people into a field and then simply drive away doesn’t feel far-fetched at all. The moment Salvador discovers the bodies he fears for his own and for his family’s life, he rushes home to tell them not to leave the house for anything before he rides his son’s bike into town to get help in the shape of the law.

The performances are strong throughout the movie, though Alvaro Rodriguez, who plays Salvador, sometimes feels slightly wooden in his acting. It is, however, a strong cast.

The film is beautifully shot underneath a relentless Colombian sun, with the countryside serving as the foremost backdrop, though there also are a few views of the closest town as well. The dry cornfield acts as a narrow and almost claustrophobic space for the dead bodies.

Where the film, for me,  falters slightly is in the mixing of genres – I know from experience I have a hard time with this (read: Drag Me to Hell) – but there are elements of drama, thriller, horror and comedy and I would rather there was a line drawn and the action focused toward one emotion. This is a mere personal preference, however, and I’m aware of it. I guess it’s the screenwriter in me rearing her too critical head.

Overall, though, the plot progression is well-told and as it all takes place in one day, the flow of the story is nicely paced. Due to the mix of genres I was somewhat perplexed of what I was supposed to feel for the story – was it a tragedy or something to be made light of? Should I cry, should I laugh? I ended up not feeling all that much, I guess, or connecting at all to the characters. It was an interesting watch, but I did at one point wonder if perhaps it wasn’t simply the mixing of genres, but rather a cultural thing, that I didn’t really connect with it – that, if I had known more of the country itself, I could have seen the irony in between the lines in a truer light than I could now.

It was see-worthy and I wasn’t disappointed, but it’s not one that I would choose to see again.

Second Impression: Not likely…




~ by mescribe on November 22, 2011.

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