New Order

This Spanish controversial riot thriller plays like a real life horror movie.

“New Order” is an unforgiving and absorbing experience about a revolution between the upper and lower classes in Mexico City . This Spanish import, translated from “Nuevo Orden,” also struck some controversy, because the bad guys portrayed here are dark skinned, while the good guys are white. A little color coding, no less. It’s discriminatory towards the lower class. I also read a YouTube comment that explained that this movie was hated in Mexico, because of the way it portrayed poor people as the bad guys and the rich as the good guys, while insulting feminism and other movements in that country. And writer/director Michel Franco had to apologize to the public for his movie by describing the film as the target of reverse racism.

I know it’s scary, sinister, and discriminatory, but seeing this is entertaining in those senses. It provides no happy endings, because it represents a real life horror movie with deaths. There are no heroes in this, just victims and villains, all of whom are consumed by the power of hate and cynicism.

We begin at the wedding of the wealthy Marianne (Naian Gonzalez Norvind) and her new architect husband Alan. Then we see her mother’s (Lisa Owen) former employee Rolando (Eligo Melendez) asking for a substantial amount of money for his wife Elisa’s heart valve replacement surgery. She gives him money, her architect son Daniel (Diego Boneta) gives him some money, and Marianne tries to give him some money, but he leaves before she could even try. So, she leaves with Cristian (Fernando Cuautle), the housekeeper Marta’s (Monica Del Carmen) son, to help Elisa, but they end up caught in the middle of a horrifying coup. There’s green paint, mayhem, riots, and murders everywhere. And at the wedding, it turns out that the housekeepers and servants are among the terrorists.

The next day, the whole city ends up on lockdown, and Marianne gets abducted by soldiers, who lock her and a bunch of innocent people in cells, where they physically and sexually abuse them. Meanwhile, Alan, Daniel, and Cristian all struggle to get her ransom money to save her, but with all these lockdowns, shootings, and curfews, it’s completely difficult.

I endorse international thrillers for their abilities to tell stories and take greater risks, and “New Order” is a movie that has been peeving about half the world. I don’t recommend these specific movies to anger the the crowd; I recommend them for shocking me in the sense that riots can kill people, and lots of people get murdered here. And the victims, particularly Marianne, are frightened, threatened, and tortured by these sadist pigs.

The early scenes of the movie show us excellent visuals of the riots and green liquid that goes all over the place. The best shots of the green come from the rain and a stair flooding, and both them are beautifully photographed by cinematographer Yves Cape. And we see the hospital forcing some of their patients out of a room when injured victims come in. These sequences set us up for what is yet to come, and even the trailers are scary on this level.

This is a sad movie that’s portrayed provocatively and dangerously by Franco. I’d be lying if I told you I understood the ending, but I still saw it for its emotional performances from the likes of Norvind, Cuautle, Del Carmen, and Owen, its riveting and artistic images, and its ability to threaten your senses.

It’s up to you. You can either see it for the elements I’ve mentioned-you may or may not agree with me on them-or you can forget all the negativity and skip it. Either way, we might have some things to talk about.

Rating: 3 out of 4.

In Theaters This Friday

Categories: Drama, Foreign

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