We’re on firm Fantasia territory as we take on the very well traveled road to violence in La Quinceañera. I have to make the distinction that this genre film firmly belongs in the category of revenge-fantasy. Which is, where violence and gore are almost portrayed as comic-like action but they’re still violence and gore. It’s escapism at its finest.
Director Gigi Saul Guerrero brings us the story of Alejandra Santos (Mia Xitlali) and her family. They’re about to celebrate Alejandra’s quinceañera, a well known rite of passage in Mexican culture when a girl becomes a woman. Her parents have got Alejandra a mariachi band and her close relatives to celebrate the day. Her very headstrong abuela has even dug out a gift: a scepter for her to carry on her day.
Alejandra initially wants none of this, but she’s willing to bear it. That is, until her father finally shows up closely followed by the Del Rio Cartel. Not to confused them with Los Del Rio which is the band that sang La Macarena. This is going to end up bad, bullets will fly, blood will flow and revenge is a dish best served with jalapeños.
The film is actually not a movie, but a webseries of seven episodes which unfortunately leads to the story having to stop and restart. This also kind of works as each episode does exposes the story from another character’s point of view each time it begins again. I just wished the movie could’ve reused them without the feeling that we have to look at some scenes again since it does feel like we’re always waiting for the movie to catch up. Some additional sound work and transition scenes could’ve worked to fill the gaps as the music stops cold and the next episode starts.
Recommended with reservations. Technically you’re watching a webseries, but I feel a little work could’ve done marvels in smoothing the transitions. The episode-like segments have a charm of their own that still however make the whole thing watchable. The ending might feel incomplete as it seems the webseries intented to continue running, leaving the story with a feel of the start of something bigger rather than a satisfying conclusion.
That will do for now.