Lalo and Stephanie fall in love but their families make this a difficult prospect as they don’t want to see the kids make the mistakes that others in their neighborhoods have.
Film making 18/25
Bonus Features 2/25
Two families struggle not only with the everyday life of living as low income minorities but with the loses of loved ones in the World Trade Center incident. Lalo and his best friend are typical teens in New York in a not so typical time, one month after the World Trade Center attacks.
Lalo’s father was a janitor of the Twin Towers and was in the center when the planes hit, Stephanie lost her sister in the attacks. Everyone is somehow affected in one way or another and even when they have no close family lost or dealing everyone around them is.
This is apparent in one scene when the group of friends are hanging out and one of them makes a jokes about it, everyone else gets on his case. Lalo has to deal not only with his uncle who moved in with them but his father who is working long hours working at the cleanup.
He still has nightmares about the event and now helps to clean up the surrounding area after the collapse but is starting to have health problems. They are also not getting paid for their work and are not being given the proper equipment to prevent those health problems like face masks.
Lalo meets his friends cousin and falls head over heels in love, but you usually don’t hear boys from the hood with that condition. Lalo tries hard to impress Stefanie but the usual prejudices of their parents ignite some tension and physical confrontations.
In the end after a couple of incidences with parents trying to break them up and the usual teen uncertainties they both bike off into the sunset uncertain about what the future will bring. Don’t Let Me Drown is a moving and touching story but not all that different or notable from other dramas except for the unusual theme of the Twin Towers aftermath.
The actors played their parts well with nothing being corny or out of character but the film comes off as more of a snap shot of the days after 9/11 than a love story. It does mix the two well but does not really have much of an overall end to the story other than the two kids are determined to keep seeing each other.
Don’t Let Me Drown has no hugely impacting moment to leave you with a pointed message, only the everyday lives of the characters intermixed with their highs and lows. The film is good and well worth a rental but may not be worth a collection addition as a dramatic love story.
Don’t Let Me Drown is a low budget film but they did a great job with what they had, video and audio are good but with a low budget aspect. This independent film is good looking and does have a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound track that works well.
Surround is evident but not used all that much other than for background effects but voice is clear and easy to understand. It is also of note that several scenes are subtitled but most of the film is in English, several scenes have the families speaking in Spanish.
The DVD does not have any extra content other than the trailer which is not surprising for a small independent film. Don’t Let Me Drown is a great movie and does a good job of showing the daily aspects of people as they go about their normal lives with the typical problems many people have.
Don’t Let Me Drown does show a great picture of life after 9/11 and those involved with having to live in the area and deal with the loss of loved ones. Don’t Let Me Drown is worth at least a rental as it is a good film and worth viewing to see if you enjoy it as much as I did.