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Film Review: Gloria

Updated on January 27, 2018
A young Gloria Trevi in the early 90's.
A young Gloria Trevi in the early 90's. | Source

The film, Gloria by Christian Keller premiered in all of Mexico this past 1st of January. The film tells the story of Mexican pop/rock icon, Gloria Trevi, from the beginning of her artistic career until her imprisonment in Brazil and her release from jail in Mexico. Although the biopic talks about a controversial subject, it completely separates itself from much of the sensationalism that characterized it when it broke into the media nearly 20 years ago. The film is rather a concise version that makes no judgement against anyone. It should be noted that although the version that the film offers is quite attached to reality, it is not a documentary but a recreation of what happened that manages to stick to the story's core.

As previously mentioned, the story is not interested in prosecuting anyone but rather on showing the human side of the characters, especially that of its protagonist. Gloria Trevi (Sofía Espinosa) is portrayed as a real and complex person. She is neither a malignant woman nor a frightened accomplice and submissive victim who only obeys the orders of her manager, Sergio Andrade (Marco Pérez). On the movie, Gloria is characterized as a real woman: unprejudiced and passionate both about music and about Sergio Andrade. At the same time, she is the master of her own destiny, a woman who makes mistakes and eventually faces the consequences of them.

Sofia Espinosa as Gloria Trevi.
Sofia Espinosa as Gloria Trevi. | Source

Similarly, neither Sergio Andrade is portrayed as a complete monster nor Mary Boquitas (Tatiana Del Real) as a malicious woman. Although these characters are not the story’s main focus, the film manages to show a spark of them without making any hyperbolic remarks. As noted by the director, Christian Keller, "[Judging] was never the point of the film. Our purpose was never to write a dark story about the abuse of underage girls. It is there, of course, but more than anything our goal was to show the human side of the story." Andrade's abusive behavior is not excluded from the film, but it is not the center of it either (as it was often the case in television news stories). Moreover, his personal qualities such as his intelligence, and shrewdness are also well shown. In other words, after watching the film one can conclude that Andrade has some serious problems when it comes to treating women. However, he is simply that: a man with issues, one of many men. Similarly, Mary's efficiency and kindness as well as her unhealthy passion for Andrade (which she shares with Gloria) are also part of the script.

Marco Perez as Sergio Andrade.
Marco Perez as Sergio Andrade. | Source

Another notable character is that of Aline's (Ximena Romo Mercado) who can be perceived as the naïve, flirty and easily impressionable teenager. In other words, Aline could simply be seen as the average 14-year old girl who is fascinated by the celebrity world and likes to dress up, and to experiment with using make up as well as with dating. Contrary to what some people have claimed, Aline is not portrayed this way to excuse Andrade's abusive behavior. On the contrary, the film seems to point out that regardless of a young girl's personality (whether she is flirty or shy), it is illegal and wrong for a man of thirty something to engage in sexual intercourse with her let alone physically and emotionally abuse her.

The clan as portrayed in the film. Ximena Romo plays Aline Hernandez and Tatiana Del Real plays Mary Boquitas.
The clan as portrayed in the film. Ximena Romo plays Aline Hernandez and Tatiana Del Real plays Mary Boquitas. | Source

As you might imagine, Gloria Trevi’s music also plays an important role in the film. Songs like “El recuento de los daños,” “Cómo nace el universo,” and "Dr. Psiquiatra,” are inserted into the script and are accommodated into the narrative in a way that helps to advance the story’s plot. As the screenwriter, Sabina Berman, says, "This is the story of someone who can sing, who has this gift and whose life takes her from one disaster to another and what always saves her is this gift to sing. It can be seen as a fable about the healing power of art.“ A clear example of what Berman notes is, “La papa sin catsup’s” scene, whose purpose is to show Gloria’s jealousy and sadness at seeing Sergio Andrade marrying someone else. The scene fulfills its purpose but it does so with humor while cleverly borrowing elements from the album, Más Turbada que Nunca (from which the single “La papa sin cátsup" comes from) and the film that starred Gloria in the 90s which bears as title the hit’s same name.

A re-enactment of Gloria Trevi's 1996 concert in Mexico City's "Estadio Azteca" (Aztec Stadium).
A re-enactment of Gloria Trevi's 1996 concert in Mexico City's "Estadio Azteca" (Aztec Stadium).

Would you be interested in watching Gloria?

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Overall, Gloria is a movie worth watching. It contains excellent performance especially those of the protagonists, and it narrates a captivating story that reveals an important commentary about Mexican society, show business, and the abuse of women. In addition, despite being a concise version it is full of little details that provide valuable information about Gloria Trevi’s life and about what surrounded her during the 80's and 90's. Now let's see what other spectators have to say:

"I went in with low expectations because I doubted the film would talk about the truth, and I left pleasantly surprised." - Silvia Marin

“I've been a Gloria Trevi fan since I was 13. I loved the movie because it does not make any judgments agaisnt her and it shows characters that are real. Oh, and of course I liked that it talks about the role the media played in the whole scandal. “ - Daisy Aguilar

"I liked it because it helped to clear my doubts and it’s a very touching story.” - Jesus Aguilar

"I liked the movie because it helps you understand Gloria Trevi’s character and why she was so in love with Andrade. Also, there are a few scenes that are quite funny." - Azela Munguia

"I liked the script which makes the film smooth and entertaining…There were many scenes that I liked ... Gloria's character is very well built (her psychology, her look). The actors’s performances are outstanding. That’s the film’s most attractive feature. The actress who plays Gloria has great charisma, she is a revelation who adds freshness to the film and mesmerizes the viewer. The use of the flashback adds dynamism. I disliked the way Sergio Andrade’s character was built, as it is dangerously close to a parody. I would have also removed one or two songs that just make the film longer. 'Que bueno que no fui Lady Di,' is one of them. And yet, if I have to summarize my experience in four words, I would say I was pleasantly surprised." - Alvaro Ceballos.

"I liked the movie because it reveals the truth in a very entertaining way. I have always enjoyed listening to her music, and I thought it was fantastic that they included full songs. It helped to clear my doubts about the involvement of the other characters even though they were represented in a very silly manner. My opinion on Trevi didn't change for the better or worse after seeing the film. "- Andrea Somollera

My rating of this film is:

4 stars for Gloria

Gloria - US Trailer


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