Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Y tu mamá también offers an extreme insight into the rampant sexuality of Mexico's young adults. The film depicts lives of two teenage boys against the backdrop of present-day Mexico. In his film, Alfonso Cuarón not only describes the sexual experimentation of Mexican youth, but he also addresses the impact wavering politics and an unstable economy has on the Mexican people as a whole.
The film takes place in 2001, just one year after the election of Vincente Fox, a member of the opposition party. After about 70 years of revolutionary presidents, Mexican government underwent a radical change during the time of the narrative, as well as the film's release. Mexico has undergone numerous financial fluctuations throughout its history as a country, and recent years have brought along various economic lows. The extreme changes in economy throughout history caused Mexico to have a large separation between each of its economic classes. In his narrative the two young boys who take a journey to a beautiful land with a beautiful woman seem to represent the desires of most Mexicans during this insecure time.
Julio (Gael García Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna) embark on a thrilling journey filled with sexual exploration and an investigation of their inner selves. After convincing the beautiful Luisa (Maribel Verdú) to take a trip with them to an imaginary beach, the trio heads off in search of adventure. Self-discovery ensues when Luisa seduces both boys and convinces them to make love with each other during their last romantic encounter. The raw sexuality displayed throughout this movie seems to encapsulate the uninhibited nature of Mexican youth.
While the full frontal nudity and unashamed sexual acts performed on screen may be disturbing to an American audience, Mexican cinema seems to embrace sexuality with open arms. While they do not leave anything to the imagination, the sex scenes throughout Y tu mamá también are beautifully orchestrated. These scenes absorb the magnificence of sexual attraction and the inhibition that comes along with this temptation.
While the film utilizes the characteristics of raw sexuality at its core, the underlying message of the film seems to encompass the trials of politics and economy within Mexican society. Julio comes from a lower-middle-class family, while his best friend, Tenoch, is the son of a high-ranking politician. As their mental age begins to grow throughout the film, the distinction among their varying classes also becomes clear. It is this distinction that ultimately drives them apart. Cuarón uses the distinct lives of these two boys to comment on the state of Mexico's political affairs. While the large separation between classes is rooted in economics, the separation also occurs within the lifestyles and moral character of each class's constituents.
Cuarón's film Y tu mamá también depicts the raw sexuality apparent in Mexican society, and also indirectly comments on the political atmosphere of the country. Through the use of a compelling story of self-discovery and the beautiful landscapes of the Mexican countryside, Cuarón offers his audience a glimpse of Mexico through the eyes of one of its citizens. While the underlying meanings apparent throughout the film are deeply rooted in the political principles of Mexican society, the narrative of the film introduces a moving story that forces its audience to fall in love with its characters despite their downfalls. On a scale of 1 – 10, Y tu mamá también is definitely a 10.