“Upside Down”, a romantic, honest and spontaneous comedy

With the premiere of “Al Revés” the good moment that Puerto Rican cinema has had over the last year continues. Like “Los Mecánicos”, this production is clearly a commercial offer that makes good use of the conventions of the genre in which its plot takes place, in this case the romantic comedy, while giving it a distinctive touch.

In this film, which began to be shown this week in theaters on the Island, that is manifested in the emotional honesty that is achieved with the main characters. The entanglements, comic situations and good chemistry between the protagonists, roles that Angelique Burgos and Obie Bermúdez play here, have been the requisites of a romantic comedy since this genre was born more than nine decades ago. What you don’t always do in this type of film is make sure your main characters transcend their archetypes and register as real, flesh-and-blood human beings. That genuine touch is something new and unexpected in a comedy directed by Eduardo “Transfor” Ortiz, but here it turns out to be his best resource.

Although originality is not something that is required of this type of film, nor is it the key resource for it to be a rewarding experience for the viewer, it is appreciated that the script by Jesús M. Rivera and Marietere Vélez take the trouble to give a real justification of the main romantic union and show the vulnerability behind the actions of the protagonists.

In the case of Lourdes (Burgos) and Roberto (Bermúdez), fate brings them together through a series of machinations. She has dedicated herself to consistently stealing from the pharmacy that he manages and instead of filing charges, he recruits her to try to tame the hostility of her teenage daughter (Marcela Santiago) and to take advantage of her talent for volleyball. Within this situation, the romance occurs because both characters are adults with emotional trauma who fondly remember what they were like as children. He, before the disappointment of being abandoned by her wife, and she, before finding herself trapped in a dysfunctional relationship that has left her with few resources to survive.

See also  Why 'We are lady parts' is the series you should be watching

Although it is no surprise that “La Burbu” has a good rhythm for comedy and naturalness to play an extroverted woman who does not mince words, the best of her interpretation comes out in the moments that she has the opportunity to express what is behind that. The vulnerability that she manages to express as Lourdes is touching and most importantly, honest. This is matched by Bermúdez, who also highlights the insecurities of a single father without resorting to detracting from his emotional strength.

Although “Al Revés” is definitely the best comedy in the director’s filmography, on two or three occasions Ortiz resorts to elements that feel forced. Hints of sequels, three seconds after the plot clearly came to a satisfying conclusion, and the insistence on connecting to other of his films are jarring notes with the rest of his work on this film. Even so, this does not detract from the qualities that make this a romantic comedy in which honest and spontaneous energy manages to entertain viewers of all ages.

You may also like...