Sunday, May 26, 2013

Santa Mesa DVD Review

 ***Complimentary  copy received in exchange for an honest review***

After losing his single mother in a car accident, a 12-year-old kid from Jersey has nowhere to go except to his grandmother--in the worst section of Manila. Unable to speak a word of Tagalog, the boy quickly falls in with a street gang, and only the concern of his first robbery victim--an English-speaking photographer--might pull him from deeper trouble. Affecting drama stars Jacob Shalov, Angie Ferro, Jaime Tirelli, and Melissa Leo. 83 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English, Tagalog Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English. In English and Tagalog with English subtitles.

Where to Buy

Get your copy of Santa Mesa on Amazon for in both DVD and digital download formats.

My Thoughts

In Santa Mesa, a little boy named Hector loses his mother in a car accident. He is sent to live with his grandmother in the Philippines where he doesn't know the language or the customs. His grandmother is very detached and he feels alone. He soon finds himself wrapped up with a street gang who picks pockets and burglars houses. He gets himself in even more trouble when the gang leader's girlfriend  has feelings for Hector.  Luckily for him, his escapades with the gang lead him to find a mentor who teaches him about photography.

Santa Mesa is a really heart warming story about overcoming hardships and finding friendship in unlikely places. One of the only drawbacks for me was that most of the characters speak quite a bit in Tagalog, and I found myself as lost as Hector a few times. They do have subtitles in English but for me trying to read them from across the room was too much of a strain on my eyes. The only few quibbles I have with the storyline is that there is strong connection between the only two people that Hector attempts to rob, which seems a little too coincidental in a large, overcrowded city.  I also thought the way Hector crept around the house of the woman who's handbag he stole was a little creepy. However, for the most part, I really enjoyed the touching moments of watching Hector and his grandmother's relationship start to to flourish, his tenderness with the young girl he had a crush on, and the bonding between Hector and the photographer who took him under his wing. The movie leaves you with things not being 100% perfect and resolved, but with the realistic chance for relationships to heal.  4 Stars

***Please note that I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a sample of the product to try in order to write a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced in any way. ***