Fed up with his childish antics and unable to keep a parental eye on him anymore, Tomas is sent to live with his older brother, Sombra, who is attending the National University. With the University being on strike, Sombra along with his roommate Santos have been living a stagnant life, showing little initiative or purpose in life as they kill time waiting to see what this strike brings. Tomas' arrival throws a wrench in Sombra's idiosyncratic routine, as Tomas convinces his brother and friend to help him track down the Mexican fold-rock hero Epigmenio Cruz, a revolutionary, albeit unsung musician who is rumored to be on his deathbed. Alonso Ruizpalacios' Gueros is hypnotic journey of self discovery, which uses the political unrest swirling around its characters to deliver a poignant study of the importance of discovering ones own voice. Gueros is not so much a political film but a film about the importance of having a voice in your community, as Tomas, Sombra, and Santos eventually learn the pitfalls of being an observer, with youthful disillusionment being portrayed as a cyclical process of life. Gueros has a meandering quality to its narrative, echoing its protagonists who have fallen into a world of complacency, but as the film progresses one of the strongest aspects of Gueros is how it is able to capture the abundances of voices which exist in society, as Sombra, Santos, and Tomas find themselves caught in the middle of conflicting voices of socio-political activism. As they meander through the streets of Mexico City, Gueros' exposes the importance of one finding their own unique voice through the static of society instead of falling victim to disillusionment which can only stunt personal growth and progress. Alonso Ruizpalacios shows a strong sense of visual storytelling in Gueros as well, using compositions and lighting which further elicit the mood and feelings of its characters. Featuring crisp black-and-white photography and the occasional use of surrealism, Ruizpalacios has created one of the most stunning films of the year. With Gueros, Alonso Ruizpalacois has created a unique vision of youthful disillusionment, a film that manages to balance its more serious and profound truths about youth with a great sense of humor and wit that perfectly captures the exuberance of youth.
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