Magazine article Screen International

'The Chosen Ones': Review

Magazine article Screen International

'The Chosen Ones': Review

Article excerpt

Dir/scr. David Pablos. Mexico, France, 2015. 105 min.

Most probably conceived as a righteous pamphlet against child prostitution, this blunt tale of a 14-year old girl who falls for a grim-faced, inexpressive boy slightly older than her and ends up in a Tijuana brothel working double shifts has very little that is original or perceptive to say on a subject that needs far more incisive treatment. The script, by David Pablos (The Life After), has a tendency to treat the characters as prototypes rather than individuals and is ultimately thin, repeating key elements.

The story is centred around Sofia (Nancy Talamantes), only 14 and living with her mother and little brother. She is in love with Ulise (Torres), without suspecting that he has been charged with seducing her and passing her over to his father (Edward Coward) and older brother (Jose Santellan Cabuto) who run a chain of cheap brothels in Tijuana. But when Ulise refuses to give Sofia up, his dad and brother grab her anyway and put her to work. They beat Ulise up cruelly to teach him a lesson, and when he still says he wants Sofia, they tell him he can have her, if he brings in a substitute.

To do so, he picks up another girl, Marta (Leidi Gutierrez) who, once again, lives with her mother and little sister. …

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