Raising Victor Vargas (2002)

This episodic screenplay is a fairly well-constructed “Sundance” favourite. Its realist style in the first 15 minutes is the most impressive part of the film; the public swimming pool scene brings to mind the lighter moments in Cathy Moriarty’s first scene in “Raging Bull” (1980). The film relies on close-up shots as a primary technique to achieve character intimacy & a realist mood. The characters in the film are mostly very charming, particularly the “frizzy haired” Vargas boys.

Overall, it lacks the city-dweller edge in its narrative particularly after some uneasy questions were brought forth, particularly in the scenes involving the tyrranical head of family at the juveline delinquent center. There’s also some commentary on Latino male machismo through the lead character, Vic, but it doesn’t seem contribute to his character development.

Set in New York, the Lower East Side of Manhattan I believe, the general lighting scenes and mise en scene are bright, high key & natural outdoor lighting and, in a word, clean.

The final shot is upwards in tone but open-ended. This film is written & directed by Peter Sollett.


~ by filmic on October 4.

One Response to “Raising Victor Vargas (2002)”

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