(Review originally written at 19 January 2008)
Lately, lots of successful and good Mexican director are emerging. Just think about Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón. Mexican cinema is hotter than ever. Carlos Reygadas is not as well known as those previous mentioned Mexican directors but that all has got to do with the fact that his movies aren't exactly mainstream. But even if you don't like the movie, you should see that Carlos Reygadas is a great director.
Yes, it's a fairly artistic and unusual movie, that uses some interesting film making techniques and approaches. So expect lots of long and moving shots and a 'long' slow moving story, with lots of staring, oh yes and of course explicit sex sequences. So if you can't handle this, just don't bother to watch. It's all about the art of film-making in this one. It makes "Batalla en el cielo" above all a beautiful movie to watch. It were also mostly its visuals and directing approach of this movie that made me like and enjoy it as much as I did. It was not the story and most certainly not the acting.
To give the movie an even more realistic and particular approach, mostly non-actors were used for this movie, although Anapola Mushkadiz surely is a discovery. It was obvious that most actors involved had never acted in any form before. I can surely understand why the film-makers decided on this. It gives the movie an even more special style and atmosphere and enhances the movie its effect. Carlos Reygadas is more an artist than film maker as this movie shows. He didn't particularly tried to create a movie but more an observation of real people in real but not every day situations, each looking for something different. Unfortunately the movie does get a bit worse when it heads toward the ending and it dozes off even more.
But no, this movie is not as far off and weird as I probably make it sound right now. The movie is also perfectly watchable for those who don't like art-house movies but still want to see something different for a change.