Director: Antonio Méndez Esparza

Cast: Pedro Hernández Santos, Diana Wade, Antonio Méndez Esparza

Running time: 110 minutes

Plot: When Pedro returns to Mexico after working in New York, he starts a band hopes to make a better life for his family. However, it’s not long before mounting financial difficulties stand in his way.

Part of the London Film Festival’s remit is to showcase work that stands in opposition to mainstream cinema’s standard formula. Films such as HERE AND THERE, are far more concerned with deep-rooted socio-political themes and character explorations than they are tightly constructed plots and classic narrative structures. Indeed, Esparza’s portrait of working class life in Mexico is a far cry from the glitz and high concepts of Hollywood: this is real life.

Whilst the performances are superb throughout (perfectly understated and utterly believable), HERE AND THERE is perhaps a little too real, never quite managing to create situations that evoke the emotions necessary to fully engage with the film. Much like everyday life, events happen, pass, and never seem any more remarkable than they should. However, based on characters alone, HERE AND THERE is endearing for the first hour, but peaks at the midway point, and drags for the remainder of its runtime, further exasperated by a number of false finishes. Though beautifully shot and well acted, HERE AND THERE feels ultimately directionless and without a definitive point to make.

 Check out the rest of our LFF coverage here.