film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Ana 2020 * * 1/2 Stars


In 2020's Ana (my latest review), Ana the persona is not an assassin mind you (that's Anna). She is an earnest yet annoying, teenage hustler played by Dafne Keen. Ana is also a semi-abandoned youngster who is on the verge of being relegated to social services. 

So yeah, Ana is a road trip movie, a downtrodden farce, and a grave comedy/drama (with very little comedy). The film feels like something you don't see much of anymore, a kind of undo characterization from the 1980s (which I've lived through). 

Ana has veteran TV director Charles McDougall using Puerto Rico as his focal, unequivocal ode. Shot completely on the Caribbean island, you view the culture, you get the unrest, and you take in the breezy locales via every frame. Heck, it almost appears like the camera is longing as it literally peeks in.

The highlight of Ana is the turn of Cuban-American native Andy Garcia. Not being in anything lately that's headlining, Garcia's role as sad sack, car salesmen Rafael Rodriquez is sort of tailor-made for him. It's a sympathetic performance and one that proves Andrew still has some ripe acting chops.  

As Ana barrels along with its overextended running time of 105 minutes (when 90 would've sufficed), Garcia's Rodriquez takes care of Ana because her mother is in jail and she has no where else to go. They travel to the other side of the island to see Ana's estranged father. They also try to find a way to make money in order to pay off Rafael's life-threatening gambling debt. 

All in all, Ana suffers from being a little draggy, a little exasperating, and rather sloppily edited. However, the happy, turn-the-tables ending and Garcia's character's painful plight make the flick worthwhile viewing (at least for the first hour). Ana "banana". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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