In an industry that often feeds off on its personalities, any movie that stars
Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt is bound to command and receive a lot of attention.
But the fact that, over the years, audiences have rejected movies which run
solely on star power as often as they have accepted and enjoyed them tells filmmakers
that they can never get too smug - not even if they can get everybody who is
somebody in Hollywood to star together in one giant movie.
As for The Mexican, it is no giant movie at all. In fact, it is rather ordinary
and tends to get on your nerves at times. Gore Verbinski, who directed Mouse
Hunt, tries hard to gel comedy and drama together to get what he must have hoped
would be an entertaining movie. To be fair, The Mexican manages to make you
smile at times. But only at times.
Jerry (Brad Pitt) works for some kind of don, and manages to goof up the simplest
of jobs. When he goofs up on the latest, that was also supposed to have been
his last, he is sent to Mexico for another - to bring back a valuable pistol.
Jerry's girlfriend Samantha (Julia Roberts), who wants to be a waitress (and
eventually an actress) in Las Vegas, gets wild at his having to leave, and breaks
up with him. The break-up scene is one of the best in the movie, with Roberts
mouthing typical dialogues from those typically American self-help relationship-guides:
"I need you to acknowledge..."
As for Jerry, he really has no choice but to land himself up in Mexico, where
life gets even worse. The pistol that he needs to deliver is an extremely valuable
jeweled beauty called the Mexican, and just as Jerry lays his hands on it, he
is hit by strokes of bad luck from all directions, including a particularly
bad stroke which parts him and the pistol. Jerry has no choice, of course, but
to chase after it.
Meanwhile, Samantha (reading a book called "Men Who Can't Love") is kidnapped
and held hostage so Jerry doesn't play hanky-panky. The kidnapping is done in
a very un-Hollywoodish manner, and is rather shocking in its frivolity. She
gets pally with the kidnapper, a balding, rather weepy gay with a fondness for
serious talks and false identities.
Jerry's chase leads him to find and lose the pistol a number of times, and he
hears different versions of the legend of the Mexican, a changing tale about
the maker's daughter and her suitors. Again, the curious and rather dysfunctional
mix of comedy and drama mar the picture. The portrayal of the legend makes you
wonder if you are, in fact, watching a parody, but you can't be too sure.
Roberts and Pitt don't have a whole lot to do on the performing front, which
is a big mistake on Verbinski's part. The few scenes they have together hardly
have any chemistry. Finally, The Mexican is the kind of movie that one would
call "time-pass" except that time passes rather slowing at times.
But like I said before, it does make you smile a bit. Relative to the kind of
fare we Hyderabadis have been fed in the past few weeks, though, The Mexican
is not terrible, and is certainly worth a watch.