Community Journal for Texas Music Professionals, Musicians, Businesses and Fans to Connect and Share Texas Music News, Events, Concerts and History

12 Apr 09 Desdémona – A Love Story

Email this Post Print this Post

The Texas Music Journal screened the film “Desdémona : A Love Story” for both the film itself as well as for its connection to Texas music. A recent submission to the AFI Dallas International Film Festival, Desdémona is a movie that challenges the audience to look beyond the story to understand the multi-dimensional love story being told.

Desdémona is a journey into the dark world of human nature. Through the use of flashbacks to fill in the back-story, the film follows the lives of its four main characters. At the beginning of the film, Gil (Jorge A. Jimenez) collapses into a church confessional looking for a place close to God to finish his life, perhaps more as a challenge to God. Through two graphically portrayed incisions into his wrists, Gil starts his journey to the end. A priest, Father Wade (Glenn Morshower), seeing an occupant in the confessional steps inside expecting just another confession; instead he receives Gil’s reflection of shipwrecked loves.

To the casual observer, the film is the story of Gil who was sent to live with Dustin Whitaker (Brad Maule) upon the untimely death of his own father (Luis Cadeira). Over the years, Gil and his Texan brother Rod (Denton Blaine Everett) grew close to each other (though growing up tough in a tough environment). When their father passed away, the boys were shocked to find that the funeral would cost them $6,000 more than they had in funds.

They hatched a plot to kidnap the wife of a rich man in order to raise the money needed to bury their father. What Rod didn’t know was that Gil had located a past love, Desdémona (Cindy Vela), who was tied up in a loveless and abusive marriage. After successfully kidnapping Desdémona, the brothers became anxious when the husband didn’t respond to any of their ransom demands.

The story line adopts very much a modern Romeo and Juliet-like plot, but there is much more inside it than just the love story between Gil and Desdémona. The writer and director, Phillip Guzman (”2:22″, “The Lawless”), has woven a brilliant and intricate multidimensional love story that highlights many loves – the love between Gill, Rod and their father Dustin, the love between Gill and his brother Rod, the love between Gill and his own father, and the aborted start of love between Rod and the captive Desdémona. If one wants to be inclusive about the love stories reflected in the film, one might also include the encompassing love of God for one of His wayward sons (reflected in Father Ward’s final act).

“Desdémona: A Love Story” is a very complex and dark film, but enjoyable in the challenge that it presents the viewer. The theme music supports the low key, dark presentation of the movie. From a Texas perspective, the Bart Crow Band played an integral part in the development of Gil’s character. In a bar scene, Gil, originally of Hispanic descent, intentionally walks into a small “redneck” bar knowing what was going to happen to him. The rednecks play directly into Gil’s plan to get closer to his own father by experiencing the same abuse at the hands of ill-tempered prejudice. One has to believe that Gil didn’t care if, like his father, he died at the hands of that abuse.

The Bart Crow Band (Bart Crow, Paul Russell, Drew Campbell, Joseph Drew) backed the honky-tonk scene with a song that fit perfectly into the theme and mood of the film, “Choice” and “Gordon’s Song”. The haunting lyrics of the latter set the mood for the scene.

It’s a dead end on an eight-mile road/It’s a shot rings out in the dark/
It’s the sharp side of the a stinging sword/ It’s kind of like a broken heart.

The reader should check out their two albums, “Finally” (2007) and “Desperate Hearts” (2008). The Texas Music Journal will be covering the band and these albums in a future article.

A character of note in the film is Brad Maule’s portrayal of the dying Dustin Whitaker. Between his growling dialog, smoking cigarettes and sucking down oxygen, Maule’s character binds the two brothers in a love that is as strong as it is tragic.

“Desdémona: A Love Story” is a film that should be on your list of films to see this year. Expect to walk away from the film challenged to absorb the deep emotional themes that Guzman has brought to life on the screen.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted by:

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.