Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Song WIthout A Name Review: A Lovingly Crafted Black and White Drama

 Starring: Pamela Mendoza, Tommy Párraga, Lucio Rojas

Release date: January 23, 2020 (US Release August 2020)
Running time: 97 minutes
Starring: Pamela Mendoza, Tommy Párraga, Lucio Rojas

Georgina (Mendoza)'s newborn daughter is stolen at a fake health clinic. Her desperate search for the child leads her to the headquarters of a major newspaper, where she meets Pedro (Párraga), a lonely journalist who takes on the investigation.  But when Pedro starts to dig deeper, he runs into problems and road blocks that prevent him from finding out more.  And Georgina's own efforts to find her lost child are stifled for other reasons.

Starring: Pamela Mendoza, Tommy Párraga, Lucio Rojas. Peruvian Independent Indie black and white film
Let's get this out of the way, Song Without A Name is an absolutely stunning film.  First time filmmaker
 Melina León definitely takes her vision and translates it to the screen.  The film is in a 4:3 aspect ratio and in black and white with an amazing film grain, which gives it a classic look.  The 4:3 aspect ratio does help to focus on the characters, minimizing the amount of distractions that could draw your attention in the periphery.  And this style also gives the film a hopeless feel at times, when everything is going against Georgina the black and white only amplifies the hopelessness that she feels.  And it gives Georgina's life a certain uniformity that helps to frame her situation.  The amazing thing about the visuals is that the director's vision is perfectly realized, but the visuals themselves are fairly simple.  And this is accompanied by some lovely, simple music that helps to frame the entire movie.  Georgina lives a relatively simple, happy life until this tragedy and the film helps to show this in its presentation and music choice.  

The irony of a black and white film is that the choices and lessons in this film are hardly that.  Some of the biggest choices and issues in this film have layers of gray and are treated as such.  When Georgina is pushed, she really gets to display some emotion.  It actually surprises you because of how simple and understated the film is before, but when she lets loose you really feel the raw emotion she is going through. And this emotion carries through to the ending, which is beautiful and heartfelt, much like the film.  However, although I did enjoy the story, it has a tendency to idle and sputter at times.  And although León brings in several aspects of Peruvian life to help frame Georgina's world and predicament, if you are unfamiliar with these they can lose some impact.  This film is wonderful and understated, but that also means that certain references and situations are not fully described.  However, don't let those stop you from seeing this beautiful, lovingly crafted film.

Song Without A Name has a striking, lovingly crafted style that ensures that this heartfelt family song is not one that you will soon forget.

Watch it.
Starring: Pamela Mendoza, Tommy Párraga, Lucio Rojas. Peruvian Independent Indie black and white film
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Song Without A Name is available direct to home in a virtual cinema format.  
Please visit Film Movement for more details.

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