Azul y no tan rosa is a gorgeous film. Gorgeous.
You could be forgiven by thinking that of course it’s a gorgeous film, it’s set in Venezuela.
But this movie actually doesn’t have nearly anything to do with the gorgeous sights that Venezuela has to offer. It’s not about a cross-country roadtrip full of beauty and amazing sights, though there is a roadtrip at one point. This movie is just… heavy, in many ways, and also astonishingly complicated when you think about how to pitch it. The best I can come up with is a family dramedy about a father and son set inside a political drama about gay rights, with a police procedural sprinkled on top and a side of identity crises. It changes subject matter and manages to trick you into having an easy time keeping up with it, going from one character’s story to another in a way that makes it clear just how connected (and yet disconnected) everyone is. This movie is about homophobia, love, understanding, parenthood, self-esteem, violence, tango, politics, dresses, abuse, crappy television and a badass transgendered woman who kicks butt.
Azul y no tan rosa will always hold a special place in my heart for two reasons. Firstly, it was the second Venezuelan movie I saw in my life, the first one being “Papita, Maní, Tostón”. Secondly, it’s just really good.
It doesn’t beat you over the head with a message so much as it shows you that things have consequences, views have consequences, and apathy has consequences. Consequences are not happening to some abstract set of numbers somewhere, they happen to people. And they suck sometimes. But then… life goes on. Life goes on, even when tragedy strikes. Life goes on after you lose, life goes on after you win. Love can thrive in the darkest of places, and the most wonderful thing can have darkness thrive in the corners. It always has, it always will, and the best you can do is keep going on with it, learn from the bad, and enjoy the good. Azul y no tan rosa is part of that good, and too few people know it exists. I’m doing my part, however little it may be, to remind people about it now that it’s been a while since it came out. If nothing else, watch it for the cinematography and the direction, this really is a work of art, with awards and everything.
To my despair, they seriously translated it as “My Straight Son” Or “Blue and not so pink”, because translation is hard and also most translators don’t give a fuck.
Azul y No Tan Rosa is a beautiful, thoughtful movie that talks about gender roles, sexuality, self-image issues, growing up, mourning, class, and politics in an entertaining and heartfelt manner, wisely showing that no matter what happens, life will continue. So, check it out if you can. It’s worth your time, it’s really nice, and it’ll probably be different from most films you’ve watched, if only because when you think about it, it’s actually like five different movies that somehow became a beautiful colonial-organism-movie.