In an era of mainstream films which range from epic out-of-this-world journeys and/or encounters, to adventures among superhuman-beings, or high intensity car chases accompanied by shootouts, what most moviegoers tend to forget is that film, in itself, is a facet of art that evolved from deep roots of strong, well-crafted substance – especially among life’s realities!
Smuggled clearly depicts one of the most complex issues and/or debates going on in our nation as we speak. The story follows a 9 year-old boy and his mother on their journey into the U.S.
Plot simplicity may be one’s first thought, however, here’s where my mention of art-form comes into play, because it’s more than just two beings sharing a trip. It’s a deep-rooted expedition which entails major uncertainty between moving forward or settling for nothing.
With an opening scene that pretty much sits on a bit of predictability, what stirs behind it is a powerful story driven by will, love and persistence over the ever-so-famous “American dream.”
Smuggled holds most of its power during harsh conversations based on reality. Psychologically pressing buttons among entrapped souls, who understand the purpose of their journey, fight off doubts as best they can by keeping themselves motivated.
From practicing that new language that'll allow them to move forward, to sharing heartfelt moments which picks at subjects from familial history, what stands out the most is independent push which mainly aims at a boy, who in turn, needs to grow up a bit faster than he imagines due to unpredictable and unfortunate events throughout the film.
Cuts between a journey and questioning by law-enforcement helps piece this small, yet, gorgeous tale of survival that has a lot to offer an audience that may have never, ever stopped to think what transpires among humans (not “Aliens”), taking risks, and leaving land which may represent their origins, but has absolutely zero to offer.
Are there flaws within the film? Yes. Every film has their “eh” moments, however, the magic that exists within the core of this film clearly eliminates the negative and accentuates the positive. Overall, it's a pretty nice film that touches and embraces.
Much love and respect to THINK TEN MEDIA GROUP on their ground-breaking, award-winning FIRST feature, and once again displaying independent filmmaking at its best!
Run Time: 80 Minutes
Starring: Ramsess Letrado, Denisse Bon, Barrett Marchbank, Cisco Marcial
Written and Directed by: Ramon Hamilton
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