Karen Cries on the Bus Review
Karen Cries on the Bus is one
those increasingly rare examples of cinema that aims to bring the
closer to understanding a central character in a realistic and engaging
doesn't have a particularly complicated story (so many viewers are
recall elements of this story from other movies) but the screenplay is
genuine life and the performances capture that feeling. This is a story
the right way and that needed to be heard.
opening of the film will not come as a major
surprise. It focuses the camera on a fragile and disheartened looking
on a bus. She is struggling to hold together (if you can catch my
she begins to form a pool of tears. You know right away that this is
not one of
those peachy-keen happy-go-lucky (not
the film) films. This is the story of some person by the name of Karen.
around you... you might even know someone you would say is just like her.
entire experience feels like a portal into deep
sadness and while that isn't exactly what an average movie-goer wants
about a potential movie ("Yeah... um, this was one of those films that
you feel solemn and heart-wrenched inside"), and it doesn't help sell
to people, what it does do is create a honest look at a person who
seems to be
an outsider despite the fact that there are probably more Karen's
in all of us than anyone would even like to admit. This is
the kind of cinema intended for audiences determined to actually learn
about the human experience.
(Angela Carrizosa) in the central character of
this story. Karen feels lost in this world. She doesn't seem to know
skills or talents are. She doesn't seem to have all of the necessary
required to make it by. Yet she continues
to try anyway. This may be the most fundamental thing to understand
Karen: That she sure as hell isn't a quitter and nothing is capable of
her from trying to live a better life.
beginning of the story, it is clear that Karen
is deeply unhappy with the life that she was living. It probably didn't
she had an overbearing and unsympathetic husband named Mario (who
little genuine emotion towards the relationship). He never seems to
at all. Does he realize what made them become "couple material" in the
place? I can't claim to know, but I would imagine it wasn't a
between his ego and his self.
Carrizosa delivers an impressive debut film performance.
She performs the role with flawless character-realization. Karen is a
who loses a lot of hope but still manages to find a way to keep a
inside of her. To perform such a challenging role is difficult. That
pulls it off is commendable. Likewise, the script and direction by a
writer-director, Gabriel Rojas Vera, is something to celebrate. The
authenticity of the film is refreshing. It
doesn't attempt to manipulate emotions but instead attempts to earn
them in the
proper filmmaking way. That is with pure expression. The script is
well-balanced, strong performances added resonance, and the sleek
accurately reflected the tone of the film.
addressed earlier... I didn't find the story
essentially complex. It only takes a few small turns. But the script
raises complex questions and addresses issues that are always a
any filmmaker to attempt to work with. The story is attempting to
importance of self-realization, self-growth, and empowerment. Karen Cries on the Bus is all about issues
of human strength in times of dimmed light. The rareness of this kind
is becoming all the more apparent each year and it is importance to
when a film attempts to make an audience feel intellectually and
It's even more necessary to appreciate the good ones. Karen
Cries on the Bus is such a film. This is one of those movies
made by thinkers for thinkers. That
Movement has presented Karen Cries on the Bus with a
16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen enhanced transfer
that will impressive on widescreen television displays. The 1.85:1
representative of the original theatrical release. The best thing about
is how it accurately reproduced the cinematography by Manuel Castaneda.
lighting is not always dark or
overcast but it frequently is. It adds
a layer to the story as the DP work did efficiently add to the
filmmaker was attempting to achieve. The colors are also well
reproduced, and clarity
is strong. The image is reasonably sharp and clean so it's going to
on a nice display.
audio presentation was somewhat underwhelming in
comparison to the video. Both the 5.1 surround sound mix and 2.0 stereo
quiet and don't really create an enveloping feeling. The dialogue is
understand but that is the only real
upside. The music and surround activity is pretty minimalistic to the
not being that noticeable and it just feels a tad too flat and
understand that this was undoubtedly helpful for the film to become
in some scenes but it also didn't
make much sense in others... such as when Karen is outside on a busy
street or hanging
out with a friend in a bar. Too minimalistic. Karen
Cries on the Bus is presented in Spanish with English subtitles.
interested in learning about the subtitles will be pleased to know that
been well reproduced and are easy to read.
Movement continues to include a monthly short
film. The selection on this release is: Lessons
from the Night. It's a short documentary about a cleaning person
she is actively engaged in cleaning up the messes that people don't
realize they make. It's nothing extraordinary as the run-time is too
go that in depth. It does cover some nice ground though for something
such brevity. The director Adrian Francis did something interesting in
capturing these moments, and from the unique perspective given by a
undervalued too much of the time. Most of us don't spend as much time
about the people who help make our day-to-day lives work as much as we
Cries on the Bus is a
story filled with hope and wisdom about humanity. It doesn't have the
complicated of storylines nor does it feature the flashy elements that
film fans become at least somewhat accustomed
to seeing (even independent dramas feature these elements) but the
character development and the realities of the drama make it a
worthwhile creation. It marks an impressive debut by writer/director Gabriel
Rojas Vera and has an excellent leading performance by Angela Carrizosa.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.