Under the Same Moon (La misma luna) (Mexixo/USA, 2007) ~ Netflix

Last seen in Julia, as the bi-polar Mexican that sets Tilda Swinton off on her crazy and dangerous quest, Kate del Castillo here appears in a completely different (and earlier) role in La misma luna, as an illegal who has slipped across the US-Mexican border in hopes of providing a better life for her young son. In doing so, she has left Carlito in Mexico in the care of his grandmother.

His grandmother is elderly and sick and one morning Carlito awakes to find his grandmother has died in her sleep. He sets out to cross the border himself in an attempt to contact his mother – neither of whom have seen each other in four years. The only contact they have is when Carlito gets a call from his mother at 10 AM sharp  every Sunday.

After one misadventure, Carlito befriends an illegal loner (Enrique) who picks up work where he can. At first Enrique wants nothing to do with Carlito, but grudgingly grows quite fond of him. He even aides in getting him a meeting with his father who have never seen each other. This relationship (and the relationship of his father with his mother) is a flawed thread which is never adequately explained. Which would have been a minor thing if they had not been brought together in the film, but since they are, there is no good explanation  for why he disappears again.

There is the heartwarming ending which will make the hankie crowd happy. This is a different Mexico from the one portrayed in Julia, that’s for sure.

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