I like Gael Garcia Bernal and I was intrigued by the premise of this film, so I rented it. I ultimately found it to be a well-made thriller with a few shortcomings in its writing.
At points, I would say that the writing in this film is a little preachy. At times, it feels a little like the film is solely trying to make us feel ad for immigrants. Thankfully, there is a dynamic character in the protagonist. The rest of the characters are one-dimensional, and sometimes not even named. The writing is predictable at times, but it is also entertaining and thought-provoking.
I think that the film was actually quite well-made. The cinematography is great, with the director obviously taking some inspiration from his father's visual style. The film's use of extreme long shots is actually really profound. Not only does it build suspense, it also has an unusual effect that brings us closer to the characters by distancing us from them. The sound design is also excellent, with the frequent use of silence being unsettling, in addition to the motif of the bear's sound.
Overall, I really liked "Desierto". It was a thriller with a lot of good execution, and despite predictability, still manages to feel rather fresh.
Big Tuna's Rating: B
How Did I Watch It?: Digital rental.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Probably.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.