Most teenagers are not as sex-crazed as the main characters of Y Tu Mamá También. But director Alfonso Cuaron’s protagonists just cannot stop talking about sex. They spend all day talking trash and smoking pot.
The story is set in Mexico. Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Garcia Bernal) are best friends. Julio is from a middle class background while Tunoch is the son of a rich politician. They smoke pot and are unsure about what they’ll do next with their lives. They meet Luisa (Maribel Verdú), wife of Tenoch’s cousin, at a bullfight. While drunk, they brag about a beach called Boca del Cielo (Heaven’s Mouth) and offer to take her with them. Later one day when Luisa learns about her husband’s infidelity, she calls the teens and agrees to join them. The only problem is that they did not know of any such beach.
So they head towards the coast, but to no particular destination. They try to attract Luisa along the journey and she has sex with both of them separately, to their respective senses of betrayal. They stumble upon Heaven’s Mouth after driving through dusty roads for hours together. In a drunken scene near Heaven’s Mouth, the trio fondle and the boys end up kissing each other. The following morning, they are embarrassed to talk about it and leave separately for home. Luisa stays back in the village near the beach.
The teens attraction to Luisa is understandable but her response goes beyond just a jealous reaction to her husband’s actions. In the final five minutes, the film reveals its serious side. Behind the sex game, lies a deep sense of pain and hurt. The pain goes beyond her marital issues and the director reveals them to us in the final scene of the film. Scenes of Luisa crying in mental agony are the most powerful moment in the film. The class separation fuels distrust between the friends.
The narration gives insight into politics, society and the landscape. How vital Mexico is in this plot, is told through the characters. Where Amores Perros shows, Y Tu Mamá También tells. The cinematographer makes Mexico look better than ever before. He captures the dusty heat and rocky hills. There are also some impressive tracking shots and some wonderful cinematic moments. The director often makes use of an omniscient narrator to say the future of a character.
Though Y Tu Mamá También has a strong script, the actors steal the show. The personal moments where Luisa cries and the tension between the teenagers in confined spaces are the highlights. The film leaves one with a sense of excitement about being alive. It is hard to believe that it is the same director who has gone onto make the 2013 movie Gravity, which is of a completely different genre.