Summer White *
by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson
Mexican movie, 1 h 25
It all starts with a white house. Well aligned, identical to all the others on the street, it fits nicely in the perfect order of things seen from the outside. Rodrigo lives there alone with his mother. The father is absent and visibly does not miss the son, who signals his mother to lie on the phone when the latter calls… ” he is already sleeping “. But where, then, could a man find his place in this apparently ideal family microcosm? It takes so little to be happy. Rodrigo knows it well, the slows next to the plastic Christmas tree are danced together. Not three.
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So when his mother, Valeria, meets Fernando, and the balance of their relationship for the first time rocks, his gaze tightens and he hears nothing. Only cries echo in his chest, deaf and mute. Because under his air of a big boy smoking cigarettes on the sly on the roof of the house, Rodrigo is still a child.
When words fail
If Valeria cares about the well-being of her son, the feeling of abandonment which the arrival of another man in her life arouses in him is too strong for acceptance to win over anger and dismay. Unable to put them into words – in Spanish, the word childhood, infancia, etymologically means “the impossibility of speaking” – Rodrigo translates the implosion of his feelings by the explosion of the windows and windshields of cars left behind on the outskirts of the city.
Using visual metaphors, the film paints the portrait of a teenager in the process of building, both with and against parental love, his independence.
The image of the house
The ultimate symbol of a life for oneself, the image of the house reads like the threaded metaphor that binds the film’s frame together. While Fernando slowly but surely moves into “their place”, Rodrigo gradually sets up one of those old abandoned trucks. With love and patience, he repaints the interior, repairs broken windows with plastic film, installs a solar mobile lamp made from hangers and CDs, grows cuttings …
This mobile home doomed to immobility, failing to its vocation to move forward and travel, is like the film. Despite a rather successful aesthetic and metaphorical atmosphere, all night and half-light lit in the muffled by the red-orange light of traffic lights or Rodrigo’s lighter, it struggles to start. The synopsis is too predictable, the dialogue a little flat, and the triangular relationship a little too cliché for something more lively to win support.