Review: 'Casa De Mi Padre' - A Strange Film That Works
March 14th, 2012 12:15pm EDT
Every once in a while a film pops up generating so much questioning, after a while our brains wind up going on strike. Why? Well, because the approach is so low-key, unique and quite frankly, dare I say misfit-like. However, sometimes that little strange film winds up beating the odds, thus becoming an underrated hit reaching cult classic status. If you need proof, well, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE – need I say more?!?
Fast forward to 2012, and that small film causing much snickering from doubters and haters happens to be Casa de mi Padre. A film which wrangled up what some would consider a cast of oddities based on their usual swag, and lending themselves to a piece entirely in Spanish!
I know! Lots of “WTFs” rolling all over the place – especially from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer – but halt, because there’s more to this film than just silly humor smeared with satire, sarcasm and incomprehensible layouts intertwining styles of Mexican movies, Spaghetti Westerns and Telenovelas. If you scrape off its purposeful “amateur” approach, Casa De Mi Padre provides a smart, humorously display upon complex U.S., Mexican relations.
CASA’s original-dirty-rotten-scoundrel Will Ferrell teams up with old-school SNL buds, Director Matt Piedmont and Writer Andrew Steele to set forth one of the oddest comedies of 2012.
Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) has lived and worked on his father’s rancho in Mexico his entire life. As the ranch faces financial issues, Armando’s younger brother, Raul (Diego Luna), shows up with his new fiancée, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez), and promises to settle ALL of his father’s debts. It seems that Raul’s successes as an international businessman means the ranch’s troubles are over. But when Armando falls for Sonia, and Raul’s business turns out to be something other than what most in the family thought, the Alvarez family finds themselves in a full-blown war with Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, the ice-cold, remorseless, razor’s edge known as Onza (Gael García Bernal).
The elements within the script are extremely funny. The story is so serious and easily relatable to most ranchers facing harsh outcomes due to today’s drug wars, it’s a film I had a lot of fun watching.
For starters, the script itself was generally written to set up the dumbest dialog among characters in the film. The words are so dull and off-the-rocker. Its tones when lashed out make it a huge reason why this film is what I like to call “Retarded Fun.” Although in Spanish, Will Ferrell is the common denominator for obvious reasons. Ferrell is able to hold his own and be the Will Ferrell we’ve come to know and love. It’s all thrown at him – and vice versa –with such unrelenting style, it was simply amazing to watch this man hash it out.
Serving as a partner to Ferrell’s performance comes from supporting cast members. For the most part we’re accustomed to watching Bernal, Luna and Rodriguez do their thing on a more dramatic approach. However, because of their talents, they were able to dust off their common ground and come off more comedic. Here’s the catch though – even though the script calls for the silliest in characteristics and individuality among their roles, they seemed to have taken the serious approach and play it out like any other film. The comedy comes from set-ups among scenery, moments and feelings. Overdoing it was the key to their structure of humor. Whether awkward, weird or overkill drama, Bernal, Luna and Rodriguez are as hilarious as Ferrell.
Like most films there are moments which lag and seem a bit of a waste – same here! However, Casa de mi Padre
is smoothly layered, and presents more than a stupid story. Beneath its core lies a subliminal message about family, love, unity, struggles and odd relations between two nations that go beyond border-crossing.
A generated feeling also while watching Casa de mi Padre was how there were similarities which felt kind of Tarantino-ish. Not that it affects the film negatively, if anything it added excitement – the tones were there.
Seriated with music beyond any of us can comprehend, laugh-out-loud scenes, a hilarious cameo by Molly Shannon, a cast of filmmaking oddities working well off each other, and an edge of insanity, CASA DE MI PADRE is a film that shouldn’t be shunned. Yes, it’s not a film for everyone, but it’s worth a watch and stands right on the boarder of entertainment with one leg on the U.S. and the other on Mexico.
Grade: B / Genre: Comedy / Rated: R / Run Time: 84 Min.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal. Genesis Rodriguez, Pedro Armendariz Jr., Nick Offerman, Efren Ramirez, Adrian Marinez
Director: Matt Piedmont
Related: Adrian Martinez, Casa de mi Padre, Diego Luna, Efren Ramirez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Genesis Rodriguez, Matt Piedmont, Nick Offerman, Will Ferrell, Starpulse Exclusives, Movie Reviews, Movie Trailers, Movie Spotlight
© 2012 Starpulse.com
Photo Credits: Lions Gate Entertainment