Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 15 minutes
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Charlie (Alex Gonzalez) is quite a trooper when it comes to his love for astronomy, particularly when he hasn’t seen any stars through his telescope at his rooftop observatory in his urban neighborhood, being that the lights of the city, coupled with the pollution, turn the sky into a “mess of yellow” as he puts it. His only sources for the most part have been books and television.
On the other hand, his brother Luis (Chris Ruiz) is always getting into trouble, particularly with stealing car alarms and frustrating his mother (Marialejandra Martin) to no end, who works hard enough as it is and certainly doesn’t deserve the trouble. Thus begins the two narratives that will eventually converge and by the end, will provide hope that things will be better for both boys.
“Night Light” is a wonderful slice-of-life piece with good acting all around, particularly from Gonzalez, Ruiz, and Martin as a small and struggling family. Manny Gonzalez and Mike Velez also put in good work as Manny and Frank, Charlie’s two friends.
The only setback found here is the CGI used for the final sequence in which Luis wants to help his brother. It’s jarring, considering that the rest of the film has been live-action and even so, not all of the CGI is a major problem, just a quick scene involving a thrown wrench.
Along with the monologues by Charlie that pepper the film, “Night Light” proves to be an amiable 15 minutes that’s worth your time.
Posted on March 29, 2003 in Reviews by Rory L. Aronsky
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