Y Tu Mamá También

Y Tu Mamá También ★★★★★

My mother was born and raised in México, she grew up poor, not having money at all during most of her childhood and adulthood until she crossed the border and came to the states even now she still struggles but not as much as she used to, I hope one day I can help her live a stable life where she doesn't have to go around asking for a loan to pay bills etc. She wanted to live a better life by coming here along with my father, my mother only went up to 6th grade in school, she wanted to study more but my grandfather took that opportunity away from her saying that she needed to stay at home and help her mother with the cooking and cleaning. Y Tu Mamá También follows the journey of two teenage boys and an attractive older woman who embark on a road trip and learn more about their life, friendship, sex, and each other. To me this is a homage to México, I was born and raised in the U.S, I’ve only visited México once, and I was 6 years old, I’ve wanted to go over the years but the country has gotten more dangerous every time and I can’t exactly say that I miss it, since I don’t remember a lot from when I went but I wish I could have gone more when I was younger, I wish my mother could go to show me around the many places she’s talked to me about.

At first glance Y Tu Mamá También gives off the impression of a comedy, the two main characters Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael García Bernal) are desperate to have sex once their girlfriends leave to a trip in Europe. They then befriend an attractive older woman, lie to her about a beautiful beach destination, and both are desperate to have sex with her. When the film doesn’t focus on sex, Alfonso Cuarón and Emmanuel Lubezki managed to capture the beauty and realness of México itself, through their journey to Boca del Cielo (Heaven's Mouth) they stop through the small places, where the narrator address economic and political issues in México, particularly the impoverished lifestyle of people living in rural areas of the country, the people they stop by are nice and helpful towards them, we see how each of the characters lifestyles are, Tenoch’s father is a high-ranking political official, his family is rich and lives in a comfortable lifestyle, showing how his family doesn’t struggle at all, Julio comes from a leftist, middle-class family. Along the way, the three tell plenty of jokes, brag about their exploits, and mostly talk about sex. Sometimes the narrator touches upon the lives of the nameless poor, sometimes he mentions an instance of political corruption the narrator mentions verbal snapshots that provide a window into Mexico’s larger, less picturesque reality.

This coming-of-age screenplay manages to make us learn all about the three characters of this entire film, the narrator goes into detail on them, touching up small details that may or may not be relevant to the situation that’s happening at the moment. The film has perfect performances by all of the three leads in its entirety of Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, and Maribel Verdu. Diego and Gael perfectly become their characters, while they’re having a conversation their speech often overlapped each other. While Maribel Verdu, in the role of Luisa, holds a sensual grace that slips to reveal the sadness beneath, and the actress manages this balancing act without ever seeming overdone or fake.

I first watched this film in 2016, when I began to look further into Mexican cinema, which has always been something I’ve loved. I wanted to watch more Mexican films, to identify with them and to learn more about my own roots in a sense. Rewatching it made me love it even more, noticing a small detail of the impoverished lives of the other people in the film, made a more clear image of how my mother lived her life as a child and young adult. The first film I watched by Alfonso Cuarón was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and I just remember being amazed by how he directed the film, I watched more and more of his films and then he won an Oscar for best director for Gravity, he’s the first Mexican to do this and he inspired me, I want to make films about México and I want to be real and honest about them just like he was with this. He’s inspired me so much, just like Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu, and it’s all thanks to them, the three amigos of cinema. I want to make México proud of what I do in the future, I want my mother to be proud about not losing any of my Mexican roots and make a film for her.

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