Flor de Fango (Mud Covered Rose) Enjoyable View For Foreign Film Fans Like Me
Flor De Fango - Loosely translated from Spanish as " Mud Covered Rose." As you watch this film you find the translation is more symbolic in meaning. I have always been a fan of foreign films as I just love learning and they always provide an opportunity for me to pick up a word or two in another language. My most recent indulgence Flor De Fango is written and directed by Guillermo Gonzalez, who has a few other titles under his belt, most notable being Amores Perros. Flor De Fango is the story of Augusto Talanquar and his wife Ruth.
Married but childless this couple appears to have established a comfortable life together and they do appear to be happy, that is until Ruth's Beloved grandmother passes away and asks Ruth to care for the teen (Marlene) she has taken in and been raising as her own. Ruth agrees and at first she is very kind to Marlene - that quickly changes when she sees how much of an interest Augusto takes in Marlene - driving her to and from school and buying her a cell phone. Augusto does not appear put off by the fact that Marlene is only fourteen years old, in fact, it appears he relishes her presence and her youth that adds energy and youthful excitement to his own plain, unexciting life. The flirting between them is deliberate and obvious, especially to Ruth, who is clearly disgusted by her husband’s boyish reaction to the young girl.
After confronting Augusto Ruth tells him she is taking Marlene with her on a business trip, Augusto does not show his reaction to Ruth but later bribes Marlene with a trip to "The Beach" if she refuses to go with Ruth. Augusto Purchases tickets for a get-away with Marlene, but Ruth finds the tickets and again confronts Augusto, who has carelessly gotten himself caught, but offers no explanation or excuse to his forlorn and clearly jealous wife. Enter Marlene's long lost, criminal element stepbrother, Genaro, her adoptive mothers son.
It is clear Marlene is fascinated by this bad-guy and begins skipping school and lying to Augusto, so she can spend time with him. An already obsessed Augusto, feeling the sting of competition, tries desperately to pry Marlene out of the clutches of Genaro to no avail. Within a few days Marlene disappears and a deeply distraught Augusto sacrifices life and limb, even jail to find her This film challenges my ideals as a viewer with its subject matter that explores the various cultural and social problems that exist in its telling. Young Marlene tossed from place to place is tragic enough, but add to that Augusto and Genera each seeking the girl for their own twisted purposes and Ruth Augusto's wife who if she didn't hate her so much, may have actually been a good influence.
The film is by no means a feel good film, it deals with some very harsh realities. There are many parts of this film that are tough to watch because you know the supposed age of the girl and the idea that there is no one who truly cares for her, as a child, is gut-wrenching. Many aspects of Augusto's behavior are appalling based on this alone - he may have fallen in love with the girl, but as a viewer it's hard not to see him as any more than a twisted pervert. It appears his love is miss-typed and misplaced. Ruth is an attractive woman but it appears Augusto is no longer interested in a grown woman and certainly not Ruth. Ruth it appears is so disgusted by her husbands behavior she develops a very apathetic attitude towards him. She shows very little emotion even when Augusto takes off after the child. Hidden in the backdrop by Augusto's obsession Ruth's character is downplayed along with her emotions until near the very end of the film.
The story-line deals with what some, parents in particular, may find too controversial or challenging to watch. Others may be able to set-aside those challenges and view the film in a very open-minded way. Maturity level will be a key indicator if you can and should watch this film. That said, I will give the film a three star rating for offering some bold and challenging content matter, decent, not great acting. Overall I would have to say it isn't what I would call exceptional in any way. There are some graphic and violent scene's, some overuse of profanity, grautitious sexuality, although no actual sex, plenty of hinting. The ending is good, not too predictable, slightly awkward, yet appropriate for a film such as this.