I'm Gonna Explode

I'm Gonna Explode


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

From the moment when the lives of Maru (Maria Deschamps) and Roman (Juan Pablo de Santiago) cross - at a school talent show during which Roman fakes his own hanging - there is a sense that the inevitable tick-tick-tick of this teen timebomb has been set in motion. Roman is the epitome of testosterone-charged rebellion. He hates his right-wing politician dad, his school and just about anything else you care to mention, and this is mixed with a rather unhealthy interest in guns. Maru, meanwhile is a quiet type who simply embraces the fact that she doesn't fit in rather than courting it.

Roman's 'f-you' antics, however, lead to a bravado-tinged chemistry between the pair and Maru agrees to his next planned rebellion - faking her kidnapping. What ensues is a road trip without a road as, instead of hitting the tarmac and heading on the rampage Bonnie and Clyde style, they opt for an altogether more slothful teenage approach - camping out on the roof of Roman's dad's apartment block, where the comforts of home and a steady flow of booze are just a shin down the drainpipe away.

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It's here that Gerardo Naranjo's film is at its strongest. With a directing style mirroring the impetuousness of youth - quick cuts, handheld camerawork - he wastes no time getting the pair on the roof, but, once there, things become more langorous as the two test the bounds of their relationship. The issue of sex is carefully handled and the trajectory the pair take has a fumbling, teenage quality that makes it easy to believe. Maru's character, in particular, is well drawn and played with assurance by Deschamps. She vacillates between wanting to become intimate with her 'Romantico' and pushing him away in case he brands her a "put-outer", coming of age purely on her own terms in a way rarely seen on the big screen.

Later, however, when the pair do decide to make a physical roadtrip, Naranjo's film begins to lose its focus. The addition of other characters only serves to dilute the earlier intensity and as that tick-tick-tick becomes tock-tock-tock the film starts to cleave to more familiar doomed youth ideas. Whereas earlier scenes had an edge of danger, as unpredictable as Roman's mood, once the latter stages of the film are reached the plot tumbles into an all-too-familiar cushsion of cliche. Still, if its explosion doesn't quite cause the carnage it might, the wait for clock to reach zero is a tense one.

Reviewed on: 14 Jun 2009
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A romance develops between two rebels without a cause.
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Director: Gerardo Naranjo

Writer: Gerardo Naranjo

Starring: Maria Deschamps, Juan Pablo de Santiago, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Rebecca Jones, Martha Claudia Moreno

Year: 2008

Runtime: 106 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Mexico

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