*NOTE: This review is going to be a CAPSULE review, which means it’ll be a tight, quick critique of the film.
Every family is different. Each family gets along differently and has their own quirks and handles life differently. Leticia Jorge’s film, Aleli, dissects this exact idea, as the film looks at a dysfunctional trio of siblings, Ernesto (Néstor Guzzini), the older brother with a chip on his shoulder, Lilián (Mirella Pascual), the wealthy sister who think she’s better than everyone, and Silvana (Romina Peluffo), the youngest sibling who’s life is in shambles, all fighting about what should happen to their childhood home after their father dies.
Jorge does a perfect job balancing comedic tones emotional drama. This is a movie about grief and sibling dysfunction and we see how each person in this family handles it differently. Ernesto is still reeling from the death of his father, not being able to comprehend it completely and wanting to keep his memory alive. Silvana’s life is a mess and the death of her father just pushes her over the edge, and Lilián seems to be suppressing all of her emotion about the death of her father which makes for a lack of empathy towards her more emotional siblings. Watching the siblings go back-and-forth is terrific, a times hilarious and other times heartbreaking. The dialog is quick, the issues they face are relatable, and the fun, loving moments they have melt your heart.
Every family might be different, but Aleli is a film that will resonate by how real it is. This family will remind you of yours or someone you know. How they handle the death of their father might be different than how you and your family would handle it, but it’s the dynamic amongst the siblings that will make you feel for the characters and the story that Jorge wants to tell.
Aleli was part of the COMEDY category at the 55th Chicago International Film Festival.