Although the title would suggest that it is the long-awaited full-length version of those classic cartoons in which Daffy Duck would get the Dick Cheney treatment while trying to convince Elmer Fudd that he should be hunting Bugs Bunny instead, “Duck Season” is actually a sweet and simple low-budget charmer about a couple of 14-year-old Mexican boys whiling away a long Sunday afternoon.The boys are Flama (Daniel Miranda) and his friend Moko (Diego Catano) and they are left alone by Flama’s recently separated mother while she goes out for the day. Even though the never leave the confines of a small apartment, there is no shortage to the excitement courtesy of a couple of power outages, slightly older neighbor girl Rita (Danny Perea) who wants to use the kitchen to make her own birthday cake (complete with a certain special ingredient lifted from her inattentive mother) and an epic battle of wills with an older delivery guy (Enrique Arreola) over a pizza that arrives eleven seconds late. Flama decides to settle the latter matter by challenging the delivery guy to a game of X-Box soccer for the pizza and the money. Meanwhile, Moko is in the kitchen discovering that girls are a far more complicated form of software than a video game–at one point, she surprises him with a kiss and then immediately accuses him of thinking of someone else.
At first, Fernando Eimbcke’s film has the ragged and aimless charm of a pre-teen “Clerks” but as the day and story progresses, he shows some real insights into how kids directly deal with such topics as friendship and romance without descending into silliness or melodrama. It eventually develops that, despite his outwardly cool appearance, Flama is actually torn up about his parents impending divorce and is sickened by how they have been reduced to squabbling over who gets to keep which possessions and, in one of the best sequences, he and Moko settle those questions for good with the aid of a handy air rifle. However, even when it begins to tread into more serious waters, Eimbcke never loses sight of the essentially cheerful nature of his story and he also gets winningly natural performances from his young cast of actors.At the end of “Duck Season,” not much has been resolved and no profound life lessons have been learned but it tells its story in such a delightful and disarming manner that it is unlikely that anyone watching it will be complaining.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Atlanta Film Festival For more in the 2005 Atlanta Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Florida Film Festival For more in the 2006 Florida Film Festival series, click here.