Y Tu Mamá También’- the phrase translates from Spanish as ”And your mama, too’’. This is directed by Alfonso Cuarón. He is said to be the story teller in the Robert Altman’s school of film making, as Alfonso Cuaron enthralls the audience with the mercurial variability, and the movie is squandering, funny, unafraid of sexuality and finally devastating. Tambien’ isn’t the start of a new wave of cinema that many critics have been label it and in a real way, it’s the revival of one of the oldest of genres – the road movie.
This movie is the highest box office opening in Mexican cinema history. In the United States, the film went on to gain nominations for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards, as well as a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globe Awards that year
I got to watch the DVD of Y Tu Mama Tambien’ (the uncut version) some months ago, but never quite got around to watching it till recently. The 2001 film got generally rave reviews from most critics for being ‘frank’ in its sexuality- with some seeing it as a triumphant coming out story of young homosexuals, while others saw it as coming of age argumentatively romance in-between and so forth. The reasoning still splits the difference. Just looking at this essential piece of subject and the storyline, the screenplay injects it with a vivacious and energy filled sense of life by combining it with a good deal of sex, tension, country history/politics, coming of age elements, and the occasional voiceover about destinies and events with a very loose relation to the main story.
Y tu mamá también’ features both male and female nudity and erotic sex scenes, it seems to me the film is primarily about lost innocence and prices to be paid. Actually, the characters spend most of their screen time engaging in meaningful conversations with one another. Tambien’ also has its element of comedy, and with no hesitation of balancing the moments of the landscape in the interior roads of Mexico, takes us the splendid drive and reveals the realities of times of Mexico lives by.
The main characters in this film are Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael García Bernal), two buddies who live in Mexico City and are about 17 years old. The film opens with Tenoch having sex with his girlfriend Ana, then moments later we see Julio have sex with his girlfriend Ceci. The couplings are acts of goodbye, and Ana and Ceci are immediately off to Europe, leaving Tenoch and Julio at loose ends. The two young men seem to spend most of their time obsessing about sex and consuming alcohol, marijuana, and ecstasy.
When Tenoch and Julio attend an elaborate wedding, they meet Luisa (Maribel Verdú), an attractive married woman who is about 28 years old. The two young men invite her to travel with them to a beach called Heaven’s Mouth. She declines initially, but unpleasant events transpire over the next few days that cause her to change her mind. Thus, Julio, Tenoch, and Luisa set out by car on the long trip from Mexico City to somewhere on the Pacific Coast south of Acapulco. As they drive along, we get many fascinating glimpses of contemporary Mexico.
Julio, Tenoch, and Luisa do a lot of talking on their journey, and it’s not long before the conversation starts to center around sex. The frank talk paves the way for action, and the movie contains some fairly graphic sex scenes. But reactions to the sex lead Julio and Tenoch to say hurtful things, and their friendship becomes severely strained.
Eventually the three travelers arrive at a beautiful undeveloped beach, where they encounter a jolly local fisherman and his delightful family. The mood lightens, and when Luisa, Tenoch, and Julio drunkenly dance together in a cantina, it seems possible that the two young men are on their way to reconciliation. However, we are soon shown a somber meeting between Tenoch and Julio that takes place some weeks later in a Mexico City coffee shop, and the film comes to a melancholy end.
This movie is relatively unusual and has its moment, the relationship between the characters are vivid and frank. I found Y tu mamá también’ to be artistic, cinematic, and thought-provoking. The unrated Y tu mamá también’ DVD offers several special features. There are three deleted scenes, and I suppose I should mention that the actors keep their clothes on in all of them. There’s also a fairly good 23-minute making-of feature, which is in Spanish with English subtitles. In addition, there’s a 12-minute short film by writer-director Cuarón, and this is a fun sex farce in Spanish with English subtitles. For those who understand Spanish, the DVD contains a boisterous feature-length commentary track with young actors Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Andrés Almeida, but no English subtitles are available for their commentary.
This movie was nominated for best original screenplay at the Oscars and the BAFTAs, it won most of its many awards elsewhere, picking up the Best Foreign Language film at Independent Spirit, and Best Screenplay at Venice.
Tambien’ also captures political uncertainties, the voice of people, rural and urban divide, the changing global life style and eventually the uneven economic shifts are the serious note the director outlines in a sideway…..It’s a stunning work and very contemporary art and a must see for the fan of good cinema
- Produce & Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
- Associate Producer: Jorge Vergara
- Written by Carlos Cuarón & Alfonso Cuarón
- Narrated by Daniel Giménez Cacho
- Cast: Maribel Verdú; Gael García Bernal & Diego Luna
- Music by Songs:Natalie Imbruglia; Frank Zappa & Miho Hatori
- Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki
- Editors: Alex Rodríguez & Alfonso Cuarón
- Distributed by 20th Century Fox (Mexico) & IFC Films (USA)
- Release dates: June 8, 2001
- Running time of 106 minutes
- Country: Mexico