Original Review by Alan Rogers (First uploaded at maintitles.net)
Malos Hábitos (aka Bad Habits) is a 2007 film from Mexico and is notable for being Simón Bross’ directorial debut. Originally a successful director of commercials in Mexico, Bross skilfully brings to the screen a harrowing story centred around a family’s obsession with food, particularly with Elena, an anorexic mother who punishes her plump daughter for being fat. Elena’s husband is turned off by his wife’s thinness and seeks solace in the arms of student who enjoys her food…and sex…and sometimes, both together time. To complicate matters, the plump daughter’s communion is approaching and one of the nun’s of the local church also has food issues. Matilde is a nun who, believes that when she was a child she saved the life of her father by reciting the Lord’s Prayer when he choked on some food at a family gathering. She feels that by starving herself or only eating disgusting food she can cure the sick and stop the incessant rain that’s causing floods and leading to the death of hundreds of Mexico City inhabitants. Bross and co-writer Ernesto Anaya interweave these various threads into a harrowing chronicle that’s melancholic and gloomy, an over-riding mood that’s perpetuated by relentless rain featured throughout the film.
Composer Daniele Luppi was tasked with scoring this feature and everything that I read about Luppi, together with director Bross’ commercials background did nothing to prepare me for the score for Malos Hábitos. Luppi has constructed a score that mirrors the melancholia and gloominess on-screen, using the barest of instrumentation: nothing more that solo piano supported by strings in low register. Read the rest of this entry »