Thursday, January 07, 2010

Review - I'm Gonna Explode (Voy a explotar)

Gerardo Naranjo's I'm Gonna Explode is so preoccupied with paying homage to its influences, it almost forgets to tell a story of its own. The film is a familiar tale of two lovers on the run, and it makes no secret of the debt that is owed to its many predecessors, with Godard's Pierrot le fou being the most obvious touchstone. The camerawork, editing and use of music employed by Naranjo is unmistakably reminiscent of Godard, and the director injects a lively momentum into his film's opening half hour. Gun-toting Román (Juan Pablo de Santiago) is the rebellious son of a politician who harbours murderous fantasies and has been expelled from school, while Maru (Maria Deschamps) is lonely outsider who is instantly attracted to him. The pair decide to hightail it together, but they don't get very far, setting up camp on the roof of Román's family home, and watching their worried families from above. At its best, Naranjo's script captures the amusing gulf between the posturing of these characters and their actual adolescent naïveté, and the pair's passionate mood swings give the movie an engagingly offbeat tone. The two central actors are fine, but not quite charismatic enough to compensate for the film's dead spots, and before too long, it becomes clear that I'm Gonna Explode doesn't have much of a story underneath its self-consciously trendy surface. Too much of the picture is spent waiting for something to happen, and when it finally does – with a tragic final twist – it has been too clumsily telegraphed for the events to have any significant impact.