3 Stars
Year Released: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 4 minutes
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El Regalo, a short film from director S. Escobedo-Altman, starts out in the desert. We are introduced to three Mexican day laborers named Miguel, Jesus, and Freddy (ably played by Emilio Rossal, Luis Deveze, and Pedro Lopez) on their way to work. They have big (and not so big) dreams of what they will do with the money they will earn that day, but are quickly confronted by a new obstacle in their path to financial freedom: a brand new fence. And behind this fence are two Border Patrol guards (Chris Ingersoll and Chris Barron) that will do whatever it takes to keep them out of the United States. Forced back into the desert, the three men plot a new way to get to their jobs on the other side of the fence.

Unfortunately, the promising start is undermined by an abrupt and hasty conclusion. Just as the story is developing and the characters are finding their rhythm, the film ends in a shortcut to a minor chuckle when it could have quite easily taken the long road to a satisfying guffaw.

Posted on October 21, 2009 in Reviews by

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