By Don Simpson | January 31, 2014
Director: Fernando Frias
Writer: Fernando Frias
Starring: Rezeta Veliu, Roger Mendoza, Paulina Davila, Emiliano Becerril, Sebastian Cordova
Rezeta (Rezeta Veliu) is a 21 year-old fashion model from Albania. Beauty has given Rezeta the freedom to travel the world, most recently bringing her to Mexico City to work on some commercials. Rezeta does not speak Spanish, but she seems to get along fine without it, since there is always a willing and able guy around who will go out of his way to translate for her.
While her attractiveness does make it easy for Rezeta to find sexual partners, it seems incredibly difficult for her to find someone to settle down with in a relationship. She goes from a swarmy photographer (Sebastian Cordova) who gives her multiple orgasms but not much else, to a hyper-academic pretty boy (Emiliano Becerríl) who quickly becomes disinterested in her because of her lack of attachment to her homeland. Eventually, Rezeta sets her sights on Alex (Roger Mendoza), a heavily-tattooed, working class guy who cleans her dressing room.
Recognizing that they are of different social and economic classes, Alex is intimidated by Rezeta’s advances. As far as Alex is concerned, Rezeta is way out of his league; but as far as Rezeta is concerned, Alex is a very rare “nice” guy who is also attractive. Once they commence their relationship, their differing personalities immediately cause trouble. It is not long before the star-crossed lovers are screaming and throwing things.
While commenting upon the trials and tribulations of Rezeta’s dating life, specifically in dealing with the harmful stereotypes of models, writer-director Fernando Frias’ Rezeta also seems to make a few strong statements about relationships in general. Examining the multiple dimensions of romantic relationships, Frias suggests that successful relationships are multifaceted, meaning that they are based more on just sexual chemistry, physical attraction or friendship alone. Even when all three of those factors seem to mesh perfectly, drastic discrepancies in social or economic statuses may also cause problems. From Frias’ hopeless perspective, it is a natural wonder that anyone remains happy in a relationship for more than a few weeks.
Winner of the Jury Award for Narrative Feature at Slamdance, Rezeta benefits greatly from the inherent naturalism of the non-actors who populate the screen. Like an early Joe Swanberg film, Rezeta might seem a bit rough around the edges, but that ends up actually contributing to its allure. Parts of Rezeta may seem haphazard, while certain aspects of the continuity (especially with regards to Alex’s facial hair and Rezeta’s comprehension of Spanish) are a bit distracting, but Frias’ film is perfectly content with playing as a series of somewhat random vignettes, showcasing a directorial propensity for creating charming and poignant moments.