Article and Media by: Charley Phillips.
Gonzalez is one of the five movies I saw while attending the Chicago Film Festival in October. After seeing all the films, I concluded that this film is my overall favorite. It has a good sense of movement and I like the overall theme that it portrays throughout the film. Christian Díaz Pardo is the director of this film. Made in Mexico, this film gives me such a new way of thinking about evangelist and how the church works.
“Spiraling into debt, González takes a job at a call center in a Christian cult’s headquarters, bilking money from its disciples. Fascinated with the charismatic televangelist, Pastor Elías (standout Carlos Bardem, Javier’s brother), González pleads with him to make him a pastor too, setting in motion a dangerous chain of events. A searing study of faith and fraud amid the global recession, González is a bracing thriller bolstered by its striking visuals and performances.”
The main actor, Harold Torres, is really great at showing the emotions of a person who is in need of help. While watching the film, I anticipated the time when he would kick some butt. There are also times when I waited for the Misirlou music to start once he had the guns. I liked the transition that he went through in the film as well. At first, we see Gonzalez as a clean, slick back, well-dressed man trying to find a job. As the film progressed, he changes and becomes less and less of the person he appeared to be in the opening scene.
I can see what the director wanted to get out of the movie. For me, the whole Evangelistic preaching is a little bizarre. This film shows that the church Gonzalez worked for used their crowd to fork over money because it was the ‘Godly’ thing to do. Not only were these preachers overbearing, they were giving these people false hope. They were not in it for God, but rather for the money. I liked the overall ‘divide and conquer’ plot that this film had. It kept me on my seat and had many scenes of action.
Overall, this film is great. I can see myself watching it over again because I feel as though I get a resolution from González. Not only because it ended how I imagined, but because I like the way the director portrays Gonzalez. I have always had interest in independent films, and this was a very entertaining one. I liked the Spanish version rather than the English version. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars.