By Liam Trump.
Luchadoras begins with a story. A woman is going about her usual day as she gets on the bus. But something is different about today. Instead of going his usual route, he goes a different way. The woman on the bus gets brutally raped to the point where she feels ashamed of telling her family about the experience. This is the introduction not just to the film, but to the city of Ciudad Juárez.
A big part of Luchadoras is how women get by in a place generally known for its high murder rate when it comes to women. Instead of working for low pay in a factory, the subjects of this film take on monikers in the pro wrestling community.
The main character of the story is Candy. Out of all of the people presented, she has the most going on in her life. Aside from wrestling, she has to get back to her kids who are in America. The whole point of her wrestling is to make enough money to buy a visa so she can get to them.
The biggest theme is identity and how that translates into being a woman. As mentioned before, the town of Ciudad Juárez is downright unforgiven to women. It’s said that they basically have to fend for themselves, with no help from authorities.
What writers Paola Calvo, Patrick Jasim, and Phillip Kaminiak struggle with the most is how the information is paced out. Every person who’s shown in the film has facets of their lives that are begging to get uncovered. This may sound like a good thing, but the sheer amount of people make it difficult for there to be a clear point to it all. Every person in the film gets such a small amount of development that it leads to all of them being underutilized.
On a more positive note, the camerawork and music are both effectively executed. There are many free-flowing shots that show the disorganized nature of Ciudad Juárez. The music takes on different percussion and string melodies, making sure it never becomes repetitive. With a better color palette, there Luchadoras could’ve had a unique voice past just camerawork and music.
Paola Calvo and Patrick Jasim’s Luchadoras sadly fails at creating an engaging story. The stylistic elements do little to elevate a fractured story that doesn’t have a clear drive. The message of feminism is completely appropriate, but it only comes in at the end.
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