Los Lobos Movie Review:It Is The New-Age Pather Panchali

Los Lobos(Video On Demand)

Starring Maximiliano  Najar Marquez,  Leonardo Nájar Márquez, Martha Reyes Arias

Directed  by  Samuel  Kishi

Rating: *****(5 stars)

Nothing  prepares you  for  life better than life itself. Nothing prepares you for a film as powerful  as this. As I watched this extraordinary Mexican  film about a young single Mexican mother’s migratory  experience  in  the USA with her two  little sons,  I felt  I was  being pulled  into lives that I’d rather not  get involved in.

Samuel  Kishi doesn’t allow us the luxury  of  opting out. Once we  are in, we in it for keeps.And  we are  all the richer for it. Los Lobos(the Wolves)  took  away a part  of my heart for keeps.The director  doesn’t pile  on the  misery  and  wretchedness. No , this is not poverty porn. It is  way too  sublime to qualify as  anything less than a  masterpiece.

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I   just wanted to  bring those two little boys home and give them the  best life and schooling that  I could afford.  Of course  it helps that the two kids in  the main parts are played by two real-life brothers Maximiliano  Najar Marquez,  Leonardo Nájar Márquez. The younger one ,  too innocent to  comprehend what  life is doing to him. The older just  beginning to  understand how unfair life can be , locked  in their one-room home  in a sprawling apartment  block, while Mamma goes  out and makes a living.

As I watched the two little boys make the  best of their cramped existence I was repeatedly reminded of Durga and Appu in Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali. Thrown into  the  wombs  of abject deprivation  the elder of two children  becomes the guardian while  the  parent is out trying to  make  a living.

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 It’s a wretched  hopeless life brightened  by  bouts of compassion ,  where a trip to Disneyland becomes  the  metaphor for an unattainable dreams for migrants who come  to foreign  lands in  the hope  of a better  life. Miraculously  the  narrative of  non-negotiable nullity never gives into  self-pity and  misery .  Everywhere  e around them,  boys encounter a kindness that  overrides their  squalid existence: the Chinese landlady who gives  the  boys warmth  and food when their mother is working  long hours, the neighbour who steals money and  return it quietly.

No, that trip to Disneyland  doresn’t happen. But the  film ends on hope and  sunshine, not so that we  go home feeling happy but because these three people we meet are hellbent  on finding  light  at the end of  the dark tunnel.

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 In these  trying times Los Lobos tells us  how imperative it is to be  kind and generous to those  less privileged than  us.

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