Without a steady job, without money and close to turning 40, Gabriel receives a strange offer from his best friend in “The Comedian”: To be a dad! Or at least that’s how you understand it.
Although it sounds unpromising as a prospect, Gabriel is representative of the Mexican millennial generation that, between economic crises and changes in society, is far from being the married people with children who were their parents.
For directors Rodrigo Guardiola and Gabriel Nuncio, who also co-wrote and stars in the film, “El comediante” will be able to resonate with different generations.
The film premieres Friday on Netflix. “We believe that the film has a very universal meaning and that it has a special and unique charisma that is difficult to pigeonhole into a genre”Guardiola said Wednesday in a video call interview from Mexico City.
“It has a good balance between comedy and between more serious themes that lean towards drama, a more melancholic drama that has a dose of black humor,” added Guardiola, drummer for the Mexican rock band Zoé and who has directed the documentaries ” Zoé: Panoramas”, “Zoé: 08.11.14” and “Zoé 281107”.
Guardiola makes his debut as a fiction director with “El comediante”. The film was awarded last year as the best Mexican film at the Guadalajara International Film Festival.
For his part, Nuncio has acted in productions such as “Luis Miguel: La serie” and “La Casa de las Flores” and directed the films “Cumbres” and “Camino a Roma”. He said that he took a lot of himself to create the script for “El comediante” with Alo Valenzuela.
“It’s been an interesting process and one question I still can’t answer precisely (is) ‘how big are you?’ At least a good half,” Nuncio said of the similarities he shares with his character.Like forgetting your keys at home and having to call a locksmith in the middle of the night. “It’s me totally,” Nuncio said.
Gabriel has a fan named Leyre (Cassandra Ciangherotti) who plays the ukulele and speaks with a Spanish accent, and says she has contact with aliens. At the same time, Gabriel is obsessed with making a film about an astronaut who goes on a one-way mission to Mars.
In his attempt to make the film, for which he only has the idea for the script, he meets with the producer Cecilia (Cecilia Suárez) and the famous actor Tenoch (Tenoch Huerta).
The dynamic between Guardiola and Nuncio as directors was achieved with many rehearsals and script readings. Once filming started, Nuncio checked the monitor in the early hours of the morning and, as they progressed, Guardiola took more charge while Nuncio put the emphasis on acting.
“Gabriel had to put himself in the role of actor… I was in charge of a bit of the technical side, but in the end that technical and acting side was what was setting the tone in real time, we were discovering it there”Guardiola said. “It was all very intuitive and we had to trust each other, Gabriel in what he was discovering in real time from his target character of Gabriel Nuncio.”
In the film, some dialogues and situations are expressed through dance in choreographies that can arise in everyday settings. Choreographer Priscila Hernández helped the directors bring the dance they had imagined to reality.
“I think there is a dialogue between dance and comedy,” said Nuncio. “There is something magical in those two universes, in the comedy and in the dance… Although that was in the script, the truth is that it was sublimated when the choreographer came in.”