Directed by Ricardo Castro Velazquez, ‘The (Almost) Legends’ (Original title: Los (casi) ídolos de Bahía Colorada) is a new Mexican comedy-drama streaming on Netflix. The most memorable aspect throughout its duration is its overwhelmingly colorful world. Every frame is filled with many colors, patterns, and variations. While they do not have a surrealist effect like Pedro Almodóvar’s works, the colors make the viewers feel invited into the film’s fictional world. They make the offer to embark on an entertaining, whimsical ride, which is impossible to resist.

Written by Maria Torres, Enrique Vázquez, and the director himself, the screenplay follows two estranged stepbrothers who are determined to honor their late father’s legacy in their own ways. Romeo (Benny Emmanuel) and Preciado (Harold Azuara) come together after years of growing apart. Their charismatic father, Valentín, was adored by the people from the town of Bahía Colorada. He was a legend due to his love for music and cars. However, he hid the fact that he was in a relationship with two women. This realization makes Romeo bitter toward Preciado.

After the sudden death of Valentín, disillusioned Romeo left the town with the dream of being a popular villain in telenovelas. Preciado stayed back and continued his father’s legacy of music. Unfortunately, he lacked the skills to sing or write penetrating lyrics. Still, after his mother’s death, his grandmother gave him shelter and allowed him to work in her son’s workshop. The stepbrothers finally come face-to-face during Rally de La Bestia. Their sense of rivalry persists even after the time that passed in between.

Romeo returns to his hometown to win the huge cash prize from the rally so that he can pay off his huge debt. It turns out he did not become a popular telenovela villain and got scammed by people who made that promise. On the other hand, Preciado saw the race as an opportunity to pay his respects to their father’s memory. Their battle ensues largely due to their argument about who among them is the rightful heir. Preciado lacks charm or singing skills, but the townspeople adore him as his father was. While Romeo does not receive such love, he has enough skills to win people’s hearts with his voice.

The (Almost) Legends (2023) Movie Review | High On Films
A still from The (Almost) Legends (2023)

After laying down these fairly known character arcs, the script explores their motives, dreams, and aspirations in a largely familiar manner. Romeo is conflicted about the loss of stardom he once hoped he could get. He purposefully stayed away from following his father’s footsteps even if he was blessed with an angelic voice. His character is largely explored as an extension of his shame and remorse. Preciado, on the other hand, is blissfully ignorant of his shortcomings. He lives on the attention the town folks provide him with and considers that proof of his abilities. What they both have in common is their needless pursuit of trying to match their father’s stature.

The film maturely handles the brothers’ psyche and their realizations to provide satisfying emotional moments. Their eventual understanding of what matters in their lives seems genuine due to the direction and acting performances of Harold Azuara and Benny Emmanuel. Benny neatly captures Romeo’s confident self while never letting the portrayal go overboard with its antics. While playing Preciado, who is the more colorful character among the brothers, Harold finds the same balance with his antics and ably finds emotional resonance. The rivalry-turned-into-mature-brotherhood arc hits all the predictable dramatic beats, and yet they work largely due to the actors’ committed performances.

However, the narrative doesn’t go for deep psychological analysis as it is a stylistic exercise with occasionally moving moments. While it works wonders at times, it sometimes falls flat due to a sense of repetition. The humor fails to work because of redundancy. The racing sequences are tastefully shot and edited to give an adrenaline rush. But they are not sufficient enough to elevate the script’s middling elements. So this Netflix dramedy ultimately becomes an amusing, albeit uneven, ride through the lives of idiosyncratic characters in a picturesque town.

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The (Almost) Legends (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Cast of The (Almost) Legends (2023) Movie: Benny Emanuel, Harold Azuara, Amanda Polo, Silverio Palacios, Dogoberto Gama
The (Almost) Legends (2023) Movie Genre: Comedy, Music, Drama
Where to watch The (Almost) Legends

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