Blue Eyelids (Parpados Azules)
Love, naivety and loneliness in a modern Mexican megalopolis are essayed in this charming and quirky bittersweet comedy. When factory worker Marina (Cecilia Suárez) wins an all-expenses-paid trip for two from her employer, she realises that, because of her solitude, she has no one to take with her. When Victor (Enrique Arreola) approaches claiming he is an old school friend, she tells him she has no memory of him. But as the holiday deadline approaches she decides to take a chance on this odd stranger.
This feature debut by Mexican short filmmaker Ernesto Contreras is essentially an insular and kooky two hander in which the search for love and connections is constantly under threat from loneliness and awkward inertia. Marina and Victor’s is a rarefied world, a specific universe filled, like its characters, with pale shades of blue.
If they are to be sustained at any great length, the success of mundane fantasies like this largely depends on the strength of the performances. In Mexican star Suárez (best known here for Spanglish and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada) and respected stage actor Arreola, Contreras has chosen well. By turns compelling, sweet, funny and pathetic, they keep you watching long after the stretched and schematic screenplay by the director’s brother Carlos runs out of steam.
GFT, Glasgow, Tue 23–Thu 25 Jun; Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Mon 29 Jun–Thu 2 Jul.