Review: ‘Graceland’

graceland-posterI’m not the biggest fan of foreign films and usually try and avoid them. I’m not really sure what my apprehension is… maybe because I think it’s like going back to school and that’ll it’ll be like homework? It’s honestly a stupid mental block I have against them and I definitely need to get over it because of the few foreign films I watch each year, I always end up liking them.

As is the case in Graceland.

Written and directed by Ron Morales, Graceland is billed as a thriller but I’d also add mystery into the mix. It’s about a family man named Marlon (Arnold Reyes). He works for Chango (Menggie Cobarrubias), a corrupt politician, doing everything from the mundane (driving the daughter to school) to the sick (cleaning up after his boss’ escapades with underage girls). When Marlon, his daughter and Chango’s daughter are kidnapped, things go from bad to worse. Chango’s daughter is accidentally killed and the kidnappers take Marlon’s daughter and hold her for ransom. Desperate, Marlon now must lie to Chango and the police about what really happened in order to get his daughter back.

What happens when you become part of someone’s revenge plot? Do you do everything necessary to get your loved one back? Of course and in that ruthlessness and cunning, people are bound to start suspecting that you’re in on it. Which is exactly what happens with Marlon.He’s got this look of pure innocence, even though he’s far from it. I’m sure he once was, but in an effort to provide his family that innocence left a long time ago. A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do. And Marlon does it.

Graceland though isn’t what it seems. It’s got a huge twist that I didn’t see coming and I’m betting you won’t either. It’s one of those films where you’ll want to re-watch and see where clues and hints are dropped and how you missed them. 

The film is suspenseful in that whole “what’s gonna happen next?” vein. Will he get his daughter back? Who is behind all of this and why?

I sincerely hope Hollywood doesn’t get a hold of this for a remake. Everything that makes Graceland special would be scrapped clean into something totally generic… and this is not all generic.

Graceland is playing on VOD and in select theaters (San Diego, Los Angeles, New York City, Austin and more). For more information on theater locations and VOD, click here.

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