Na Na Land
What’s a husband to do after his wife leaves him without even one message – especially when he thought everything between them was just fine? Track her down, of course, and try to reason with her! At least that’s the way Eligio (Gael Garcia Bernal) handles this situation in You’re Killing Me Susana (Me Estas Matando Susana). He even rushes from the warmth of Mexico City to a University in Iowa during the bitter cold of winter.
As we watch Eligio’s frantic antics while trying to find Susana and persuade her to come back to him, we can’t help feeling sorry for the guy -- but we also begin to understand why Susana (Veronica Echequi) decided to leave him. Eligio acts more like a boy than a man. Even though he makes us laugh when he does something stupid like covering himself in leaves and thinking that will hide him -- or running from a cab driver he owes 85 dollars to -- we have trouble empathizing with him. Clearly, in order to have a happy ending, Eligio needs to change a number of things to please Susana.
SHE wants to be a writer, see.
And HE is an actor on TV.
She waits at home while he goes out.
He drinks a lot and gads about.
So she leaves him with no goodbyes.
To find her he just tries and tries.
But she has gone somewhere to write
as well as learn to do it right.
If he finds her, will she be glad
or will things turn out very bad?
Moving on might be a good thing
and not a dismal happening.
Too bad these two lack chemistry
and fail to evoke empathy.
Romantic films need both, it’s true.
If missing, love does not come through.
Directed by Roberto Sneider (Tear This Heart Out) and adapted by Sneider and Luis Camara from the novel Deserted Cities by Jose Augustin, You’re Killing Me Susana boasts some entertaining moments. Plus, both Bernal and Echequi are quite photogenic. Unfortunately, it seems hard to imagine them as a couple -- and most of their scenes appear forced. But the film does a good job of keeping us guessing. Will Eligio and Susana end up together again?
And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. --- Kahlil Gibran
I love you – I am at rest with you – I have come home. --- Dorothy Sayers
(Released by La Banda Films. In Spanish with English subtitles.)
For more information about this film, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.