MIFF 2012: Mosquita y Mari
August 16th 2012 04:32
A simple, gently observational drama of two teenage girls in Los Angeles poised at a delicate age, Mosquita y Mari (2012) is about our ability to negotiate life from different but overlapping perspectives. Yolanda (Fenessa Pineda), soon nicknamed ‘Mosquita’, is academically strong and less prone to being swayed by her peers. The greatest pressure in her life comes from her parents - strict disciplinarians obsessed with their offspring exceeding expectations and thus escaping the poverty that the white, wider world would carelessly condemn all Mexicans to.
Yolanda’s new friend, Mari (Venecia Troncoso), is the more extroverted, wayward personality type, but the two form a strong alliance. There’s the tantalising hint of a physical attraction conjoining them too before Mari nips it in the bud, damning a potentially crucial impulse as childish. Writer/director Aurora Guerrero does a fine job of maintaining a delicate balance in charting the ups and downs of the girls’ friendship as it naturalistically evolves in this, her debut feature.
She has the work of her young actors to thank for the moody effectiveness of the piece too; both acquit themselves exceptionally well in forging a credible bond. What Mosquita y Mari lacks in scope and ambition it makes up for in subtlety and insight. Modesty, then, need not be discouraged for the faint, back-handed praise that films of this ilk are sometimes lumbered with. The result, in this case, is a persuasive, pleasurable small gem.
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