Cinco de mayo, la batalla [The Battle]

Media Type: Film

Year: 2013

Who wrote / made it : Rafa Lara

Plot summary: Cinco de mayo, la batalla [The Battle] deals with the run up to and the battle on the fifth of May/cinco de mayo, when the Mexican army defeated the invading (mostly) French army. When it was made, it was the most expensive Mexican film. The story is concerned with the leaders on both sides, particularly the military men but also with a budding relationship between a soldadera, Citlali (Liz Gallardo) and an infantry soldier, Juan Osorno (Christian Vazquez). The film’s dual narrative concerns shows a lack of faith in the great historical leaders as focus of the plot and tries to humanise the event by having these lowlier figures as its emotional core. The film does not quite work, for this reason, but also because it is so concerned with fidelity to the historical sources that the great men of the narrative simply declaim lines attributed to them. The battle sequences are obviously where a lot of the film’s budget went. Nearly half of the film is made up of these, but they are poorly choreographed and are a curious mix of dull and gratuitous. It has some merits, but fails to deliver on its promise.

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