Review: ‘El Angel’

El Angel shows the true effects that a child goes through while growing up in a working-class family. A child in this type of social class family grows up wanting freedom and not working to be a slave to the workforce. The lead character Carlito Puch is a remainder of this effect. Within the first 20 minutes of the film, the word freedom is repeated with a sad demeanor, but with an adventurous eye position. We become eager to know and understand freedom through Puch’s eyes.

Puch’s dad’s philosophy is that working hard will get you the things you want. A person should follow this theory instead of borrowing things from people. Puch follows his father’s advice in an utmost way throughout the film. Puch is a character that makes you want to enroll at a university to study Stealing 101. Is this an Argentina version of Robin Hood? The film makes it seem that people who are not outlaws or artists are not cool or need to reevaluate their lives. His partner in crime partner Ramon sums it up. “The world belongs to artists and outlaws.” Yes, this could be theoretically true because in both worlds the person is solely working on themselves and their deep passions in life. Whereas, people outside of the outlaw and artistic world, for the most, are working to survive and put food on their table. Puch has watched his father work for companies in which he did not own.

In the first seven minutes of the film, the young boy’s mother mentions them not having enough money. This implies the effects that are put on parents living as a working-class citizen. Puch hears this and wants to be out of the government’s work entrapment. His mentality becomes rebellious. The opening lines to the film are about him wanting to live in a world with no rules and to do whatever he wants at any time. This character’s rebellious nature shows just how much he does not want to be like his parents. To him, they are not happy and not free. His goal seemed to not become a product of the working class and fall into the mentality of “Being obsessed with work. Working endless hours on something that has nothing to do with him. Not owning anything but bettering someone else.” His answer was to go against the system in the ways he thought were possible. It was to use his imagination and fight hard to get it. He becomes his boss, which got him his own money and other resources. Also, we get the sense that outlaws are the freest in this world and the most artistic. Puch’s character says, “They don’t know about art. They are outlaws.” The style of the people Puch hung with and his mind creates the theory that to be insubordinate is a good thing because you become adventurous and creative enough to explore the world.

This film shows criminalization from an artistic, ambitious, and meek point of view. Puch is not stealing for the money, but more for the fun of it. He is a young boy who has blonde hair and a very skinny body frame. He is not a very average criminal. The Argentina native was also free with his sexuality, but not with love. He came from a shy family, and he embodied this same shyness. His sexuality was implicitly relayed to the audience and not very much said through his mouth. El Angel is based on a real story of a male with the same name who is the longest serving inmate in the Argentina’s prison system.

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Gabrielle Alexandra Smith

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