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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Urban > Teens > Relationship > Abuse > Terrorism > Donít Let Me Drown (2009/Image DVD)

Donít Let Me Drown (2009/Image DVD)


Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C-†††† Feature: C+



Usually when we get our hands on an independent film release, it gets much hype, but turns out not to offer much.Cruz Angelesí Donít Let Me Drown (2009) is a rare exception these days.Yes, it may be rough and have some parts they would have re-shot if they had the money, but the tale of teenagers Lalo (E.J. Bonilla) and Stefanie (Gleendilys Inoa) having a potential relationship in the shadow of 9/11, dysfunctional families, tough street living and most peopleís objections is one of the few honest urban films I have seen in a while and we get our share.


The acting is decent all around and for once, the screenplay (by Cruz) is consistent, thorough and with few problems.Yes, the story can be familiar, yet it is a new, updated take on certain aspects of urban living that never change and even got worse since the 1980s.Ricardo Chavira is particularly good in the thankless role of Stefanieís abusive father, but there is something different going on here that is good in the chemistry of the acting and way this was made that suggests what a new independent cinema could be today if just left alone to grow.All in all, this is definitely worth a look and more competent on a narrative level than many big budget fiascos we have suffered through lately.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image has some good color and shots, but also haws some rough shots beyond the attempt to make this look gritty, something Director of Photography Chad Davidson does not overdo.The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix stretches out what seems to be a simple 2.0 Stereo mix, with some of the music far louder than dialogue recording to the point that I could almost warn about volume switching.A trailer is the only extra.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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