ND/NF: Enrique Rivero dramatizes the life of a forgotten man in Parque Via
Beto is lonely. In Parque Via, he is the caretaker and sole inhabitant of a house owned by a wealthy Mexico City family, which has been on the market for a decade. Beto has restructured his existence around routine and solitude. Director Enrique Rivero lets us wander through the monotony of the everyday and like Beto, find comfort in it.
The film is well-paced; Rivero offers the audience time to breath, but not enough to think about the laundry we should’ve done. Parque Via instantly brings to mind Jeanne Dielman, with the repetition of Beto’s daily routine and the way it builds to a startlingly violent climax. Although Parque Via is more a meditation on solitude and character study, then a feminist statement. Still Rivero slides a comment or two into his movie, showing the disparity of the class system in Mexico City, where a large part of the citizens either have chauffeurs or are chauffeurs.
The caretaker in Parque Via is so accoustumed to his solitary existence that the prospect of the house’s sale would signify the end of Beto. In this way the film makes me think of Taxi Driver and the manner in which two very different characters deal with loneliness similarly; each limits their interaction with the world and lives in what is more or less a tomb (for Beto it’s the empty house and Travis Bickle it’s the taxi). Like Travis, Beto has his own whore/friend/confidant, Lupe. And yet Lupe is not a girl to be saved, but rather a means to incorporate sex and friendship into Beto’s routine (Lupe is always on time).
Parque Via is minimalist, realist and humanist. Rivero charms the audience with the gentle, peculiar, loyal Beto and propels the movie with one question: how, without this house, will Beto live?
-Melanie Shaw, ND/NF New Voicefestival dispatches, latin american cinema, New Directors/New Films, New Voices comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.