The Cinema Libre /Rhino Films 2011 Mexican action film "Days of Grace" (nee "Dias de Gracia") is a perfect May treat for those of us who like substance with our mayhem and intense conflict. This film receiving a 15-minute standing ovation during the 2011 Cannes film festival and the 8 Mexican Academy of Film Ariel Awards, including Best Male Actor, that it won further verifies the exceptional quality of "Days." The only mystery is the snub by "the academy" regarding not nominating it for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
In other words, this film goes light years beyond being both fast and furious.
The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Days" expertly avoids spoilers in explaining the primary metaphor and theme of the film. It further provides a good look at the exceptional overall quality of this production.
Additionally, the plethora of options regarding watching "Days" leaves virtually no excuse for not watching it. The separate DVD and uber-spectacular Blu-ray (BD) versions hit stores on May 5 2105; it is playing on the big screen in New York and has a May 15, 2015 theatrical premiere in Los Angeles. It also is available via VOD, HBO Latino, and HBO Go.
This clever and very well-presented intricate film glides between World Cup tournaments in 2002, 2006, and 2010. Each inter-connected story is set in Mexico City and the environs and all are linked.
The beautifully shot first scene, which looks particularly spectacular in BD, from 2002 sets the stage for the multiple twists in the film. A man in a police uniform driving two young boys to a desolate shack and forcing them to completely strip at gunpoint while talking about f**king them up turns out to not be what it seems and surprisingly involves good humor.
The man, who turns out to be honorable and dedicated cop Lupe, soon comes to the attention of a commanding officer who effectively is taking the law into his own hands in response to police corruption. Bringing Lupe into that campaign ultimately causes that relatively young officer to go rogue in response to the reaction of the targeted criminals.
The rest of the film artfully moves between the three time periods, using radio and television coverage of the current tournament as a background. Different color schemes and aspect ratios further distinguish each time period.
The related 2006 and 2010 stories revolve around kidnappings that involve actual Mexican standoffs. The latter of these crimes is the more compelling of the two. That one has a wealthy Mexican businessman literally ambushed and dragged from his car.
The drama there largely relates to the efforts of the wife of the kidnapped man to obtain the ransom money leading her to discover distressing news regarding their finances and a secret life that her husband has been leading.
All of this reflects the modern dystopia which has become an increasingly common theme in society. Very little law and a great deal of disorder characterize this period. The fact that newbie film director Everardo Gout, who also penned the "Days" script," depicts this so well provides a nice suspension of belief by making it entertaining, rather than depressing.
The four extras that are Blu-ray exclusives provide terrific "making of" insights.