Medio Tiempo Movie Download
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original title: Medio tiempo
tags: To secure his future he must face his past
budget: SGD 850,000
Carlos is a Salvadoran immigrant who came to the US after his brother was kidnapped and murdered in the civil war and who now awaits citizenship as a political refugee. He is honest, clean-cut, works very hard, and lives very cheaply in order to send most of
the money back to his family. Carlos is juggling two jobs, a budding romance, a boss that loves him and another that derides him unfairly. He's trying to get his adoptive teenage brother a job, but his brother appears more interested in becoming part of a
Hispanic gang. When Carlos thwarts gang members trying to shoplift beer, he and the market become targets for the gang his brother aspires to join. Also, others around Carlos may have less than honorable intentions. A hard working Salvaoran immigrant struggles
to keep his adoptive brother from joining a gang. I'm surprised that the director Francisco Menendez has such a good idea of what Hispanic gangs are like. This film starts well and about 85% of it is pure gold. The kid who plays the main character does a great
job and is never anything less than completely believable as a poor El Salvadorian who gives all the money he earns from work in America to his impoverished family back home. The later scenes involving his younger brother's involvement with the gangs and how
both his romantic and professional relationships disintegrate over just a day or so are really well-done, and though not completely believable, is always interesting.
The weakness of this movie is that it covers too much ground at once. When one starts to think that perhaps illegal immigrants aren't really so bad a thing. They come and take the jobs that Joe-average American doesn't want, and support their families back home who have to live through all sorts of famine and horror with little or no money. Then, suddenly the tone shifts and they mostly seem like hateful, greedy, and cowardly thugs, and the audience is left under the impression that the main character really is only an exception. Then again, this film tries to simultaneously explore three more things: Carlos's relationship with his girlfriend, his relationship to his gangbanger brother, and his troubled past in El Salvador. Also thrown in are elements like a slingshot he is _extremely_ proficient at, which are interesting but don't seem to be fleshed out enough to find their place in this film. What became of the slimy guy who stole all the money in the end? What were his motives and how did he do it? The same story could have been lengthened into a feature-length film and all the elements would seem a little less abbreviated and slide together better.
Don't get me wrong, whatever one can pick apart with the story, this film rises over, being technically perfect in every other way. Excellent acting (especially by the two leads), very realistic dialog, good locations (though I have to admit I was shocked by the fact that a few scenes were shot right in and around where I live and go to class.. a lot of my classmates actually are recognizable as extras too), camera angles, sharp editing, and surprisingly convincing special effects help show that director Menendez should be making more films, just with his scripts a little more hammered out. This film is not your typical Hispanic gang drama. It comments on the life of the illegal, examines the multi-cultural tensions that exist in Latin communities in urban America, and gives support to the ideas of family and brotherhood that should exist in the world today. If you get a chance to see this film - you should be pleasantly surprised.
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