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November 9, 2009

2

Sin Nombre

by Franz Patrick


Sin Nombre (2009)
★★ / ★★★★

The debut of writer-director Cary Fukunaga was loved by critics and audiences alike, but I was not that impressed with it. “Sin Nombre” was about two groups of people–one from Honduras and one from Mexico–who take a train headed to the border of United States and Mexico. The first group was Sayra (Paulina Gaitan) and her family who attempt to move to America to lead a better life. The other was Casper (Edgar Flores) who was being hunted down by Mara Salvatrucha, a gang he was once a part of, because he committed a crime against them. While I do agree that the film was protrayed in a gritty and realistic way, I found it difficult to identify with the main characters. I felt as though they had this wall that lasted from the beginning of the picture all the way to finish line. I understand that their journey on the train was literal and symbolic but I had trouble sticking with it because of that lack of connection between the characters and the characters to its audiences. I felt as though their situation or story was told in a much better way from other films. If Fukunaga had taken the time to cut off some scenes from the first twenty minutes and expand on the scenes when Sayra and Casper were interacting with each other, it might have had something brilliant to offer. Instead, I felt as though the experience can be summarized as merely glossing over the shell of characters who were going through very difficult times without truly getting into why they were complex. Their motivations were apparent (survival and a better life) but the filmmakers failed to take the story to another level. I noticed that the director tried to inject contrasting images and concepts but those weren’t enough to make up for a lack of a strong core. I had high expectations coming into this film and I couldn’t help but feel more and more disappointed as the fate of the characters began to unfold.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Izzy
    Nov 13 2009

    I really liked this movie!! I think it’s because of my fascination with gangs, especially that of the Mara Salvatrucha. They’re literally the scariest gang out there. and YES I read your film reviews.

    Reply
  2. Nov 15 2009

    Izzy, you crack me up. Thanks for reading my reviews! I just assume that none of my friends read it because it’s easier that way. (So I wouldn’t be self-conscious, etc.) I know, I feel like I’m the only one that didn’t enjoy this movie. I mean, I see why most people would like it but I feel like I’ve seen it all before. And yes, Mara Salvatrucha scared me as well (Well, I know them as MS-13 but I didn’t know what MS stood for). I thought it was fiction! Shows what I know. Hahaha.

    Reply

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