Friday, March 18, 2011

Only God Knows Alice Braga's Destiny

If you've ever wondered how much shit can happen after losing your passport in a foreign country, this is your film. Alice Braga plays a U.S. resident who goes partying in Mexico. However, this party ends up taking her all the way to Brazil. Diego Luna is the hungry drifter who offers her a ride - in more ways than one.

Destiny (and/or stupidity) propels them southward against a backdrop of spiny cactus silhouettes and sultry Julieta Venegas tunes. The title Solo Dios Sabe means only God knows. The implication is that there's a path marked out for us, to which we must  generally succumb.

The movie's go-with-the-flow philosophy is classic Latin American wisdom. I share this conviction that spiritual peace requires letting go of control. Still, submission to higher forces need not exclude all planning. (Esto es para ustedes Mexicanos!)

When I was at the lowest point of my life, an old man advised me, "If you can accept that life doesn't have to be your way, you can be happy." I decided I wasn't the author of my life's story, but merely one of the characters. Furthermore, I surmised that the narrative would include tragedy and comedy not just epic. I've been happier since then.

So, what remedy does our young, hot and spoiled protagonist find for her existential crisis? With the standard Latino blend of Catholicism and folk mysticism, she discovers that one need not control all happenings - even those as central as who one loves, when one has children and how long one lives. Take heed gringos. You might learn something here. One more thing: I don't know if breasts are specifically nominated for acting awards, but Alice's she-appendages deserve serious consideration. Talk about a stand out performance.

1 comment:

  1. All that grasping is bad karma anyways.

    Our money, engineering, medicine, and organizational management in modern industrialized societies often give us a sense of control.

    Once in a place where those things are no longer present, we must learn to accept the situation or be tormented and perhaps driven crazy by the frustration created by our impotence to control.

    My advice for living in Latin America:
    Never expect for things to go the way you hope them to but take delight when they do.

    I have a request for a movie review.
    Men with Guns (1997) is about a chilango doctor on a quixotic quest to find his ex-students in war-torn Chiapas.