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Mambo Man

average rating is 3 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Mar 22, 2024

Film Reviews
Mambo Man
Directed by:
Edesio Alejandro, Mo Fini
Written by:
Mo Fini, Paul Morris
Hector Noas, Yudexi De La Torre Mesa, David Perez, Camila Cruz Chile

A Cuban businessman gets involved in a shady deal that might ruin his life.


One thing that stands out in this feature is the soundtrack. Throughout the film, there are songs from a variety of famous Cuban artists that include David Alvarez, Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, the Afro-Cuba All Stars and Alma Latina. Whether the pieces are utilised in diegetic or non-diegetic ways, they certainly add good qualities to the viewing experience. Visually, the film gains from the directing, that contains many wonderful shots of landscapes, which are supported by the beautiful cinematography by Luis Alberto and Gonzalez Garcia. Generally, regarding the positive elements, the film provides an insight into life in Cuba, showing its geographical beauty, the style of its music and architecture, its cuisine and its agriculture community and eventually revealing the joys and lifestyle that Cubans experience.


What could be negative about this feature then? That might be the screenplay. The story concerns JC (Noas), an entrepreneur who is involves in a number of ventures, including farming. In all, his life is good and he has a wife (Mesa) and a daughter (Camila). Then, he is contacted by an old acquaintance who has an unusual business proposition for him and things start to go bad as he must raise a large sum of money in a very short amount of time. Although this storyline seems interesting, the film takes a long time to get there, the story takes too long to get moving. During the first half or so, the script explores JC's life, his work and has him accommodating a group of British people and spending time with his child and it later when a plot becomes more apparent when he pursues his friend's idea. Basically, the first half is about happiness and the second is a careless decision that threatens to destroy that happiness.


Another negative thing would be the music sequences. As mentioned, there are a lot of traditional songs in this film and although the singing and the sounds of the instruments are to be praised, sometimes when a song is heard, the feature goes into a montage, making it seem like a musical. Speaking of montages, there is also a montage that consists of stills and it feels random and awkward.


Moving to the characters now, JC makes a simple man, a friendly businessman who enjoys the company of others and being with his child. However, he turns out to be naive when it comes to being careful and cherishing what he has. His cheerful daughter is the person whith whom he appears to find the highest level of blissfulness.


If one is looking for a story, then this feature drama might not be what they are looking for. Eventually, what this film achieves is to reveal the beauty of Cuba's geography and provide an insight into the lifestyle of its citizens, most notably their music.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Indie Feature Film, World Cinema
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