If a movie is forgettably bland, it is because the viewer is not invested in the characters or story; in essence, they are bored. On the other hand, a bad movie, and I mean a truly god-awful film, is on a technical level worse than a boring one, but it at least provokes an emotional response. The audience was invested in something, maybe for all the wrong reasons, but invested they were. So, is it worse to be a boring movie or a terrible one?
I have been a lover of movies all my life and have this conversation with several friends and co-workers. All of these people, from all walks of life and all over the world, came to the same conclusion. The consensus is that being dull is the greater cinematic sin. Now, let’s discuss The Wall Of Mexico; and no, it is not a timely documentary about the current state of politics in the United States of America.
Michael (Xander Berkeley) is the groundskeeper for the palatial estate owned by the Arista family. Michael hires Don (Jackson Rathbone), a strong young man, to patrol the grounds at night. Don, having only recently moved to town, is confused by everyone asking him if the Aristas let him drink their well water. He is uncertain if they are making weird, racist jokes or if these people mean something else. It is not long before he discovers that the private family well is rumored to have magic properties that help keep one looking younger and have more vitality as they age.
“… he discovers that the private family well is rumored to have magic properties that help keep one looking younger and have more vitality as they age.”
Don dismisses these musings as nothing but tall tales. However, when citizens of the town start breaking onto the property to steal the water, the pressure at work is turned up. Patriarch Henry (Esai Morales) decides that it is time to build a wall around his estate, the well, in particular, to keep people out. Don is now working double duty as he is helping with the construction. Spending so much time with the Aristas, he becomes entranced with Tania (Marisol Sacramento), both to her sister Ximena’s (Carmela Zumbado) delight and displeasure. As the wall continues to expand, protestors come out to oppose its construction. Between work becoming so hostile, his confusion over the tonal whiplash in how Tania is treating him, and the long days, Don gets in over his head.
Written by Zachary Colter and directed by he and Magdalena Zyzak, The Wall Of Mexico is gorgeously shot. Director of photography Lyn Moncrief lenses the opulent setting in a way that is both enticing and disarmingly surreal. A brief shot of Tania with her legs over on the concrete and the rest of her floating in their pool, with the camera propped sideways, is mesmerizing almost gets the audience into her headspace. Almost.
"…fantastic at playing these detached, spoiled rich girls."