Sin Destino

"Good"

Sin Destino Review


As the first few minutes of Sin Destino went by, I started wondering if I had seen it before. Didn't I remember another grainy black-and-white verite-style melodrama about a dead-end Mexico City teen slowly going insane on the streets? In fact I did. It was called A Thousand Clouds of Peace. But where Clouds was a twisted tale of unrequited gay love, Sin Destino (which came first) is a drug story, and an ugly one at that.

Fifteen-year-old Fran (Francisco Rey), a homeless coke addict, has no way to get by other than to prostitute himself to dirty old men. His best friend/dealer/enabler David (David Valdez) eggs him on, giving him money when he needs it, offering a crash pad, and promising to help him have sex with a woman for the first time. (Wait until you see the woman!) Life for Fran goes from trick to trick, from snort to snort. He's well aware of the mess his life has become, and he's well aware of how it all came to this.

Flashbacks fill us on the truly nasty realities of Fran's lost childhood. First lured into the backroom photo studio of dirty old Sebastian (Roberto Cobo) at the age of nine, Fran became his kept boy, a sort of sex slave, for several years before running away.

Now Sebastian suddenly shows up again and has the audacity to ask Fran to pick up where they left off. Why not, proposes Sebastian. You need your drugs, and I need to run my filthy arthritic hands all over your body. But Fran isn't biting, and in a stinging scene he furiously accuses Sebastian of stealing his childhood and destroying him, turning him into the feral street kid he is now.

At the same time, Fran is captivated by the girl next door, the beautiful blonde Angelica (Mariana Gaja), a vision who really stands out in a crowd of black-haired Mexicans. Fran turns on the flirt, and despite the fact that he's an unclean drug addict, Angelica decides to be his girl, probably not a wise choice in an environment where everything is destined to spiral in a downward direction.

Sin Destino is rough stuff, with lots of angry sex and dangerous drugs and even one coke-fueled orgy that looks like something out of a Peter Fonda movie circa 1967. It's been much noted that the film is a direct descendant of Luis Buñuel's Los Olvidados, and as it turns out, co-star Roberto Cobo appeared in that film, too, drawing a direct line between the movies. (The most interesting DVD extra shows Cobo giving a few acting tips to the untrained Francisco Rey, who listens avidly even if he finds the old master comically theatrical.)

When a couple of bodies are chopped up, put into black garbage bags, and driven to a location in the middle of nowhere for dumping, it seems like just another day at the office on these mean streets. Sin Destino is inconsistent and somewhat cobbled together, but it definitely has moments of painful pathos.



Sin Destino

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st March 2002

Distributed by: Vanguard

Production compaines: TLA Releasing, Vanguard Cinema

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Leopoldo Laborde

Producer: Leopoldo Laborde, Manuel Guijoza, Gustavo Laborde, Jaime Langarica, Roberto Trujillo

Starring: Francisco Rey as Fran, David Valdez as David, Roberto Cobo as Sebastian, Sylvia Vilchis as Perla, Arturo Ramírez as El Motas

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