Don't Let Me Drown Reviews
Lalo a young Mexican American high schooler with illegal parents is living in run down area of New York, he meets Stefanie a young Dominican girl and they fall in love. However Stefanie's father has rage issues and won't let her date anyone, and he'll beat anyones ass who tries to. Lalo's family struggles to pay rent while Stefanie's family is still reeling from the loss of their star daughter who had just got a job working at the World Trade Center.
The acting is not bad, the cinematography is not too bad, nor the editing but it just doesn't grab you like Raising Victor Vargas. Apart of the reason why is because the film doesn't know how to immerse the audience in the Point of View and emotions of young teens in love. It has these side stories that distract from the love birds like the father's rage about his daughter's death and the Lalo's father cleaning up 9/11 debris without proper gear.
These are important issues but these side characters get scenes to themselves and it sort of turns the film into an ensemble piece and dilutes from the love story. Also the two teens are not very original or distinguishable. In Raising Victor Vargas the main character had this really cocky bloated attitude which gave him some flavor. In this film it's just two teenagers who are a little timid about their emotions and although love is a compelling thing, audiences tend to wanna watch characters who are a little bit out of the ordinary.
This film is decent but otherwise too luke warm to distinguish itself from the greats.
A sweet and thoughtful little indie that shows both the innocence and the heartbreak of post 9/11 in Brooklyn.
The story is a bit like "Romeo and Juliet" with two kids whose familes don't want them to be together. Both have been touched in some way by the events at the World Trade Center less than a week earlier.
The two leads are excellent and make the love story very believable. It's emotional and feels real.
It sort of bothered me that I felt like they just scouted the shittiest looking blocks in Brooklyn and shot them into a fictional shitty neighborhood that lacked the character that keeping to one neighborhood would have brought. The other issue was the socioeconomic aspect where the lead guy's family is supposed to be so poor that they need $200 more collectively, but he goes on a double-date to Coney Island (and everyone who lives in BK knows that every ride at CI costs $6...they went on at least 5...there is a big chunk of your rent $).
The actors were all really good. I question whether the lead guy was actually Mexican but hey, he was hot. The 9/11 aspect of the movie should have been further explored. I think there should have been more of a connection or a better way to show the pain the characters were feeling specifically about the event. A few of the characters expressed having traumatic experiences and flashbacks but I didn't really feel it was legit (as someone who actually had this issue. I mean, I physically couldn't eat for a week after 9/11 and the first time I tried, I threw it up.) Presumably this was supposed to take place in the weeks following 9/11 when the smoke was still billowing from lower Manhattan. I definitely identified with all the kids looking up when a fighter jet flew overhead.
The ending was sort of abrupt but I did feel emotion for the characters so I suppose it was a success.