This review is part of the FIFA World Cup Special Series, in which we review a movie from each country playing the competition. This episode’s movie comes from Ecuador.

In Rodents, just after getting out of jail, Ángel (played by Carlos Valencia) has some guys in Guayaquil after him to collect a debt. So he flees to Quito to stay with his cousin Salvador (played by Marco Bustos), who are doing minor thefts and cons after getting himself expelled from the military school.

In their attempts to get rid of the old trouble, they create new ones, and everything escalates further and further.

Rodents is an extremely entertaining movie, full of conflicts that engage us throughout the entire whole journey. There’s action since the very beginning, and I’m not talking about Carlos Valencia’s cock that appear in the first seconds of it. I’m talking about the chasing and fighting after it.

It’s far from serious or dramatic. It’s full of funny moments in balance with the action and intense events present in the narrative.

If you merely want to be entertained, you can watch Rodents and be pleased, but although I don’t think the filmmakers wanted to make a point with the movie, from my view there’s more than entertainment here, without being obvious or preachy. It’s all in the nuance.

Movies like Rodents (or Ratas, ratones, rateros) are the reason I believe we should watch and popularize movies from outside the mainstream. They tell different stories, relatable to those outside the main stages of the US and western Europe.

Even the stories about poor people in these wealthy regions, although closer to our reality (as we’ll see with the French entry in the series), are still not the same.

Relatability is not the only thing, though. I think it’s great for people from other realities to look at us, people from the periphery of capitalism, to at least see that we’re human. It works the other way around too, like when I see a series from Finland (as I recently watched Deadwind), and remember people from developed nations are not all entitled, arrogant cunts, and that the working people are not their elected “leaders” nor their ruling class.

Anyway, back to the relatability, that’s a thing that made the caught my attention. Being from ‘99, the characters, extras and buildings took me back to my childhood. The similarities were remarkable.

And the realism is not just aesthetic, but the movie’s plot is very plausible as well. The characters are not black and white, there is no mustache-twisting villain, not even among the antagonists.

The situations they are in are not far-fetched, making it a believable story. Everything happens because of a bad step or a stupid decision, never ill-intent. If we think about, it can happen to anyone, not only poor people that commit crimes, like our main characters.

For example, J.C. (played by Simon Brauer). He’s young, rich and white, and makes a bunch of stupid decisions that end up having repercussions.

I like pretty much every character, because they make sense inside the story and most of them we grow to like. My favorites, however, are the two protagonists.

Salvador and Ángel have very different personalities, yet they’re likable in their own way. Ángel drags Salvador to his fucked up problems, yet is hard to feel angry towards him, because he’s not a bad person.

I really like the major performances and I hope to watch more Ecuadorian films soon, to check actors like Carlos Valencia and Marco Bustos, and I would also like to see more of Irina López, but apparently that’s the only movie she made as an actress.

Moving on!

One problem I have with the sound is that, sometimes, the ambient noise and music make it more difficult to understand, to listen to the dialogues. The score, on the contrary, is perfect. The music fits perfectly the different moods of the movie, and more than that, there are some very interesting songs.

As an example, there are some moments with music that resemble grunge. I loved to hear such a genre, in Spanish, so without going after songs from the gringos and in the perfect setting for it.

As I said in the previous review, details such as cinematography and score are game changers to me. About the score, I already said I loved it. What about cinematography? Well, I liked it well enough. It’s not breathtaking, by any means. It’s not even pretty looking. But the shots are always clear and with a good and interesting frame. The colors are intense and the shots during the day are well lit. However, during the night, they are realistically dark, which is something I grew to like more and more.

Rodents is an awesome movie. Great story and characters, highly entertaining and relatable. I’ll give Rodents A.K.A. Ratas, ratones, rateros 4,5 out of 5.

That’s it. I encourage you to like, subscribe, comment, and share it. Also, you can watch some of the suggested videos that’ll appear on the screen next.

Thanks for watching. See you soon!

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