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Herod's Law
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by Greg Muskewitz

3 stars

Satirical and finger-wagging political saga set in Mexico, 1949, when a dusty janitor is yanked off of his desk to be the mayor of a remote town, predominantly populated by local Indians.

His set-out ambition to make things better is not well-received, and through a course of petty corruption that grows in size of cupidity, he becomes an even more-hated public figure, weaseling the most possible amount out of the town and his political party. Luis Estrada’s movie gets off with a sure-fired oomph, quickly kicking into gear and establishing his exposition, as well as the target of his lambasting. But the black comedy is so full-to-the-brim with ammunition for criticism that, as the running-time continues to build up, much like the neophyte politician, sight is lost of what points to make and where to make them, leaving the exposition to form a cloud of blown smoke if you catch my drift. For the long haul, the sandy, mutely sepia-toned cinematography projects the aridity of the material, however, the terse translation of Herod’s law all comes down to “Either you fuck them, or you get fucked.” With Damián Alcázar, Delia Casanova, Alex Cox, Pedro Armendáriz, Jr., and Salvador Sánchez.

[See it if you must.]

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originally posted: 05/02/04 18:33:45
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5/14/07 tony scathingly undresses old Mexican 1 party politics 4 stars
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  16-Aug-2001 (R)



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