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“We’ve got to play the game!” [El Casper]
on 27 February 2016
This 2009 social thriller tells the tale of two individuals; El Casper, a gang member whose is romantically involved with a girl from another ‘hood’ which spreads suspicion in his gang, and teenage girl Sayra, her father, and her uncle, who are illegal migrants on their way to relatives in New Jersey. Both paths cross when Caspers gang go to rob the train Sayra and her family are travelling on, but what will the ramifications of their meeting be?
This is a bleak story with a strong atmospheric start with realistic looking sets, revolving around gang culture but it didn’t ring true for me, the migrants weren't desperate enough and too trusting, the gangs far too lenient and lax, and there was a lack of fear in everyone except Smiley and the love story element too contrived [lose a *]. It was only in northern Mexico that the drama really took hold. Overall the film is a sad tale mainly highlighting regrets, unfulfilled hopes and shattered dreams, but there are far better ones out there.
The single disc opens main screen offering play, scene selection, bonus features [deleted scenes, commentary on/off]and set up [5.1, 2.0, subtitles on/off].
With plenty of swearing, graphic violence from the outset, people smuggling, murder, it’s an obvious 18. Watch the deleted scenes, many were a few seconds in length and would have strengthened the film, other overlong scenes should have been shortened.