Robert Rodriguez’s first film in his ‘Mariachi trilogy’, ‘El Mariachi’ was a great hit when released with appropriate fanfare in the
The film is about a wandering musician, a wandering Mariachi, who reaches a town in search of a job. Unfortunately for him, the local don’s men are on the lookout for a gangster whose appearance is the same as that of our mariachi’s; dressed in black and carrying a guitar case. There is only one difference between the two, the gangster’s guitar case opens to reveal guns and knives instead of a harmless guitar.
Caught in the middle of a case of mistaken identity, our hero seeks shelter at a local bar. Here, he strums the strings of his guitar as well as the strings of the heart of the girl who runs the bar. His time, however, finally runs out and through tragic consequences all three (the hero, the bar-girl and the gangster) end up at the don’s hideout.
The film disappoints because of the way in which it is shot. The low-budget that went into its production is evident everywhere throughout the film. The sequences where the characters in the film start moving in fast-forward mode are disappointingly hilarious. The scene where the hero manages to get two gangsters to shoot at each other seems like right out of a Hindi action film of the early 90s.
Another drawback is the very simple question as to why the don couldn’t describe to his men the gangster who is out to seek revenge? The gangster is fat and dons a moustache, much different from a tidy and ‘chocolate-hero’ Mariachi.
However, the manner in which the film ends is cool. The turtle on the highway, both at the opening and at the closing of the film is an indicator of the class of the director-scriptwriter.
All in all, this is a time-pass film. At least, you can have claimed to have watched the predecessor to ‘Desperado’ and ‘Once Upon A Time In Mexico’, the other two films in the ‘Mariachi trilogy’.