Tuesday, December 29, 2009

El Mariachi

Released: 1992

Reviewed: 12.24.09
Star rating: 4 out of 5

Carlos Gallardo (El Mariachi), Consuelo Gomez (Domino), Jaime de Hoyos (Bigoton), Peter Marquardt (Mauricio/Moco), Reinol Martinez (Azul), Oscar Fabila (The Boy), Virgen Delgado (Female Bodyguard).

El Mariachi is a guitar player looking for work in a small Mexican town. But when an assassin, Azul, carrying a guitar case full of guns comes to town to kill the local drug lord, Moco, he is mistaken for the assassin. As he tries to avoid being killed, he finds love and learns a new way of life.

This one starts off a bit slow with a bit of back-story that provides some character development and plot setup, then gets right into the main story. Made with no real budget by first time Director Robert Rodriguez the film leaves a bit to be desired but is wonderful at the same time. The version I saw was dubbed and the dubbing was horrible to say the least. There were quite a few mistakes as well, like a scene where El Mariachi is plucking at the guitar and the music continues after he puts down the guitar. But the story of how El Mariachi comes to be, and the setup for Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico is excellent.

Acting was mixed with Gallardo doing a pretty good job along with supporting work from Gomez and Marquardt. Martinez and most others were a bit stiff which actually lent to the authentic feel of the film. Camera work and film quality was decent considering the budget while sets and backgrounds appeared to be all authentic. Sound and dialogue were both okay but again, this is a low budget entry so don't expect high quality.

Overall if you can get past the low quality of the film and realize it was made without any real budget you will find a wonderful story that is nicely done. With some adult content, foul language, and graphic violence save this for older teens and above.

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