Casa de mi Padre
From the first sequence Casa de mi Padre catches you off-guard. Starring Will Ferrell as Armando Álvarez, Casa de mi Padre tells the story of how a trodden-down rancher can overcome his family’s low expectations to win the day – and, of course, the girl.
Similar storylines have been used before, but Casa de mi Padre manages to break the mould by compiling a series of visual features that make for both absurdly entertaining and slightly deplorable viewing. Following Ferrell’s previous roles in Anchorman and Talladega Nights, this film is a blatant spoof; in this case mimicking the Latin telenovela genre. With Tarantino-esque bloodbath shootouts, scenes reminiscent of Kill Bill and close ups of – particularly – eyes and bottoms, the film delivers a visual feast.
When the prodigal son Armando’s younger brother Raúl (Diego Luna) returns to help the Álvarez family out of financial difficulty, he brings with him bride-to-be Sonia (Génesis Rodríguez). A beautiful distraction, Sonia provides Armando with all he needs to free himself from his position as the stupid older brother.
After Raúl’s image as a successful businessman is exposed for what he really is, the Álvarez’s idyllic Mexican ranch is immediately put in danger by not only Mexico’s most feared drug lord, the indomitable ‘La Onza’ (Gael García Bernal), but also a handful of corrupt Federals and American DEA officers, all bent it seems on tarnishing the Álvarez family’s honour – something held very dear to Armando and Raúl’s father.
Teamed with glaringly obvious continuity errors – noticeably, deliberate animatronics animals and even a “mistaken” glimpse at the camera team behind the production in the reflection of a pair of sunglasses – Casa de mi Padre gets the majority of its humour from its incredible insincerity.
Ferrell plays the perfect hopeless romantic: a tall, fair skinned rancher in love with his Mexican land – and his brother’s fiancé. The humour is vastly reliant on the straight-faced actors in amongst their painted back-drops and toy cars, and if you aren’t reading the subtitles (the film is in Spanish), then you will probably miss the actual jokes. However, films that make you stop and think sometimes leave the greatest impact, and for that, you could safely say, “Mexico is bestico”!
Casa de mi Padre is released nationwide on 8th June 2012.
Watch the trailer for Casa de mi Padre here: