This gritty Mexican film isn't for fans of rom coms
The Cannes Film Festival serves some of the hottest and most glamorous films; this year, the prestigious event opened with The Great Gatsby – an undoubtedly stylish film, albeit with some shortcomings.
But it’s also an important habitat for indie films to find an audience. One of the films to really make a splash, with its candid portrayal of modern-day Mexico and the poverty and corruption that plagues it. According to The Guardian, “It was served New Wave Mexican style: raw, gritty, and force fed by bandits who snap puppies' necks with one hand while recruiting underage sex slaves with the other.” The British paper were fans of the Amat Escalante-directed film, giving it a four-star review, in which they write: “Director Amat Escalante – a more explicitly political blood brother to Mexico's current king of neo-realist weirdness, Carlos Reygadas – has shot a damning indictment of contemporary Mexico, capturing its institutionalised corruption, its endemic cruelty."
Escalande at the 66th Cannes Film Festival
The Telegraph were slightly less impressed, in fact, they were one-star less impressed, giving it three. “Escalante presents all this without a shiver of sensationalism: throughout the film his camera tends to be lurking in the middle distance; coolly observing everything that passes through its inquisitive frame, leaving the messy business of reaction to us,” they write, ultimately bemoaning some narrative plot holes. General reaction to Heli has been positive, with people praising the level of gritty realism. Perhaps a tighter script would have seen it become a world cinema gem, according to the reviews, but the consensus is that it’s worth a watch.