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All Critics (4)
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"Don't Let Me Drown" is one of the best film portraits yet of New York City in the aftermath of 9/11.
Though not as winning as "Raising Victor Vargas," which it resembles, the pic draws its romance tenderly and believably.
The film takes a while to really get going, but once it does get up to speed it really shines.
Evokes the fragile days that followed the terrorist attacks with heartbreaking, often chilling execution. There's a love story wedged in here too, but that only gets in the way.
Good script with comic moments, serious moments, and a lot in between. The acting, especially by the young couple and the father, Ricardo Chavira, is really good. The soundtrack is a lot of rap music, and there is a lot of profanity - but that's just the culture in this setting. The movie is basically a Hispanic movie with about half the dialog in Spanish...so plenty of subtitiles. I enjoyed this.
Don't Let Me Drown tells the story of two ethnically different families fighting to survive in the wake of one of the most devastating tragedies in American history. Lalo (E.J. Bonilla) and Stefanie (Gleendylis Inoa) are two high-school kids living in Brooklyn. Lalo is an American-born Mexican teen whose father worked as a janitor at the World Trade Center and now spends his days blackening his lungs as part of the Ground Zero cleanup crew. Lalo is forced to watch as his father returns home nightly with escalating medical complications due to the dust inhaled.
Stephanie is a Dominican girl whose family has relocated from Manhattan to Brooklyn after the death of her sister, who worked in one of the Twin Towers. While her mother (Gina Torres) tries to hold the family together, her father (Ricardo Antonio Chavira from Desperate Housewives) is overwhelmed by the loss and cannot control his anger and is often abusive.
In the midst of their family turmoil and exactly one month after the WTC attacks, Lalo and Stefanie meet at a birthday party, and although they start off on the wrong foot, the ice melts, and their budding friendship becomes a clandestine romance. Despite parents trying to break them up, lecherous advances from a slimy neighbour and the usual teen uncertainties, they try to find stability and safety in an ever-changing and unrelentingly difficult world reminding us of the healing power that can be found in love.
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