TL;DR – If this was just a paint by numbers film it would be okay, but it does not even hit that level.
Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
When you get to watch films from across the world you get to find some real gems that explore life in weird and wonderful ways. However, there are some things that can translate across cultures, like the coming of age story. Today we look at a version of that from Mexico full of football, unrequited love, and a school that really should have a governmental audit.
So to set the scene, it is 1994 in Mexico City and World Cup fever is everywhere. However, for José Miguel Mota Palermo (Hanssel Casillas) things are going from worse to worse. He has to move to a new school and on the first day of class was not what you would call a success. His father might be famous at his new school, but that does not make is life any better. But there is one ray of hope, a girl called Cristina (Loreto Peralta), one problem, she is dating Kenji (Luis de La Rosa), but then that is not going to stop José Miguel. All he has to do is learn how to play football, how hard could that be.
Overall, I do have to say that I found myself really frustrated with this film for most of its run time. However, there are parts of the film that are quite technically sound. The compositions are all fine, but there is also some frequent odd fascinations with food throughout. I thought the acting was all fine and given this is a film of mostly young actors it is a real credit to them. As well as this, when the film is going through some of those plot beats that are familiar to the genre it has a couple of interesting moments.
However, the factor that really holds this film back is its story that isolates between going through the motions and then also to being really quite creepy. For example, one of José Miguel’s classmates is Malo (Alejandro Flores) who is nineteen and still in middle school. In the first scene, we meet him the film jokes about something going on between him and his teacher Miss Yolanda (Montserrat Marañón). The film keeps coming back to the fact that there is something deeply inappropriate going on, even has other teachers give concerned glances, has it implied that she physically hurt him during one of those sessions so that he was hospitalised. Not only does she receive no consequences for this, throughout the film it is mostly plaid for laughs.
As well as this, the story has problems with the lead character José Miguel. He is just incredibly unlikable, acting in sheer selfishness to the actual detriment to those around him as well as to his self. However, there is no reflection for his actions, indeed they mostly go un-commented upon, and the one moment the film looks like it is going to let him really feel that it rips him away across country to almost protect him from his own actions. Well, more than that, at the core of this film is a bet between him and Kenji not all that reminiscent of Taming the Shrew, but worse. Whoever gets to win the game of football gets to win Cristina. This is super-creepy in a kid’s film and at one point they even acknowledge that her being treated as property is creepy, but then they continue on like it’s no big deal.
In the end, can we recommend All the Freckles in the World? Honestly, no, no we can’t. I feel a bit frustrated here because there was a good movie in there somewhere. However, it is just held back by its really creepy story and that is a real shame.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of All the Freckles in the World
Directed by – Yibran Asuad
Written by – Yibran Asuad, Javier Peñalosa & Gibrán Portela
Music by – Pedro ‘Zulu’ González
Cinematography by – Matias Penachino
Edited by – Yibran Asuad
Production/Distribution Companies – Panorama Global, Cinépolis Distribución & Netflix
Starring – Hánssel Casillas, Andrea Sutton, Alejandro Flores, Luís de La Rosa, Loreto Peralta, Daniel Haddah, Anajosé Aldrete, Mauricio Arvizu, Montserrat Marañón, Axel Contreras, Emiliano Castro, Daniel Vidal, Efranín Rosas, Abraham Klein, Camila Elías & Alonso Ruizoalacios.
Rating – Around an Australian: M;