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Westerns - My Dear Tom Mix / Mi Querido Tom Mix DVD

My Dear Tom Mix / Mi Querido Tom Mix
Ana Ofelia Murguia, Eduardo Palomo
Directed by Carlos Garcia Agraz
Spanish with English Subtitles
Mexico 1991
90 minutes
Facets Multimedia 2007

The central part of the My Dear Tom Mix / Mi Querido Tom Mix DVD happens in Ocotito, a town of the Mexican north of the Thirties Joaquina (Ana Ofelia Murgia) leads her placid life. She is a kind old lady whose thirst of adventures makes her spend the afternoons watching cowboy serials in the only cinema of the locality. Joaquina's favorite are serials about Tom Mix,a mythical cowboy of thirties Hollywood cinema. When a gang lead by Pancho, "El largo" threatens the tranquillity of the town, Joaquina doesn't hesitate to write to the only hero who can save them.

This is the premise of Mi Querido Tom Mix /My Dear Tom Mix which is based on a short story by Gabriel García Márquez. The movie is an evident tribute to the Colombian writer through the continuous mixture between reality and Joaquina's oníric world, represented by her idealized construction of the cowboy.

It is to this well structured story that are added the performances of Ana Ofelia Murguía with her stirring Joaquina; of Argentinean Federico Luppi giving us  Domingo - an exquisite nomadic and mysterious cattle tender who, but for the age, could refer us to the "Shane" that immortalized Allan Ladd in fifties - supported by accompanied by stiffly acted and clichéd supporting roles.

The fault is not necessary nor exclusively the actors'. Although the story is well structured, the dialogues have moments of unbearable common places which could be the responsibility of director Carlos Garcia Agraz so as to give coherence to his work. From the beginning, we realize that we are facing a lamentably superficial work which, not even by accident can uncover the multiple possibilities of the story. García Agraz had in his hands the possibility of showing the marginalization of Joaquina, an uncomfortable presence for her daughter-in-law who is incapable of discovering all the wealth in her delicious mother-in-law. The director also overlooked the deep relationship between the grandmother and her grandson or Domingo's brief recovery of his dignity. The depth of the story and its characters, which could have allowed the spectator identify with the work, the basic idea behind themagic of the cinema. In its place, he gives us a hollow, pitiful work, foreseeable from the first shot. He is, however, unable hide the enormous efforts of the script and certain actors to rescue a film that would have had much greater fortune in better hands.

Dr Mario Humberto Zamora Del Cueto PhD.

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