Sundance Film Review: Don't Let me Drown - B

by Joey Paur





This is a movie I wasn't sure if I wanted to see or not up at The Sundance Film Festival, but word got out that it was a really good film, and it came highly recommended by our friends from Latino Review. It was this buzz that drove me to go out and make time to see this movie. ‘Don't Let Me Drown' did not disappoint, it was a very good and solid movie. It did not blow me away but it was just a well made film that told a nice little story of teenage romance.

‘Don't let me Drown' is the first feature film by director Cruz Angeles, and is about two high school kids that live in Brooklyn New York by the name of Lalo played by E.J. Bonilla and Stefanie played by Gleendilys Inoa. The story is told one month after the World Trade Center attacks. Lalo is a Mexican immigrant whos family is struggling with money. His father is one of the people that is working at Ground Zero cleaning up all of the debris. His mother is worrying about money and trying to make ends meet. Stefanie's family is a Dominican family that also lives in Brooklyn. Her older sister was killed in the attacks, and her mom is trying so hard to hold the family together as they cope with the death of their daughter, while her father is so overwhelmed with grief that he cannot contain his anger and has violent outbursts.

While all this is going Lalo and Stefanie meet at a birthday party. Things don't really go well between the two of them at first, but as they start to hang out and get to know each other they form a bond and strong relationship, which is tested as they continue to deal with all of the horrible things going on around them.

I could tell that this movie was a labor of love and that there was a lot of heart and soul put into the film. You can see those feelings and attributes resonate on the screen. For a first time director Cruz Angeles did a wonderful job telling the story, and letting the audience get to know the characters. All the actors in the movie did a wonderful job in their roles, they seemed to have a natural talent for bringing these characters to life. This is one of those films that has the power to make people laugh and cry depending one how emotional you are.

If you enjoy a good movie and a touching love story then this is a movie you may want to take the time to go see. If you don't see this movie come to a theater near you, it is a must rent film.

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