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Review: Las Elegidas (The Chosen Ones)

As the film opens with a love scene between two extremely young Mexican teenagers, one begins to wonder what the rest of the film is going to consist of, if the film description has not been read. I suggest reading this summary, or another before going and watching Las Elegidas, as it is a very powerful and emotional film.

The setting is Mexico, in a couple different towns and locations, and is centered around one family, which operates a whore house. The film follows the personal and public conflict of a teenage boy Ulises, as he struggles with the decisions he is being forced to make. Does he join the family business as his brother did before him and please his family, or follow his heart, and the young girls that have stolen it.

Alongside this storyline, the women who are endangered, and essentially removed from society are a focal point of the film, as it tries to show the horrors of human sex trafficking.

The most amazing aspect of the film was the cinematography, specifically the use of the camera to capture the expressions of the individual characters. The most important example of this use of camera was the prolonged time spent on a character’s face during an intense part of the film. Having the character stare out at you and allowing you to sense the emotion that they were going through at that moment was a moving experience emotionally. Many times throughout the film, I found myself looking away or closing my eyes due to the power and the emotion that was being created. The emotions were hardly ones of happiness, and there will be a constant longing to reach out and help the victims of the film for anyone who views it. A second, yet still important aspect of the film, was the limited use of dialogue in various scenes.  The main character, Ulises, is not prone to speaking extensively with anyone, and uses short phrases throughout the film. This limited use of dialogue creates the necessary use of body language to convey emotion and meaning in the film. The film does this expertly through the use of sexual encounters, and cameras focusing on the facial expressions of the characters.