Starring: Daniela Valenciano, Adriana Álvarez, Leynar Gómez
Director: Antonella Sudasassi
Running Time: 94 mins
The Awakening Of The Ants (El despertar de las hormigas) is a Costa Rican film about a housewife who, in the face of a mundane and oppressed home life, seeks to break out of her strangled lifestyle.
While it’s undeniably a very honest and intimate drama, The Awakening Of The Ants is a disappointing watch throughout. Missing the mark in its delivery of real, hard-hitting emotional depth, the film finds itself in a rut more frustrating than its own characters, providing a frankly boring watch with none of the impact it aims to have.
But before that, let’s start on the bright side, with the fact that – while it’s never the most emotionally effective watch – The Awakening Of The Ants is a very genuine and honest drama.
Looking at themes of gender inequality leading to a frustrated and strangled day-to-day existence, the film is undeniably earnest in its intentions, and with a down-to-earth and intimate sense throughout, there are times when it does captivate on a pure human level.
The lead performance from Daniela Valenciano is similarly reserved, and although she perhaps doesn’t exemplify a harsher, more downtrodden reality as the film intends to show, she’s a likable and honest central focus for the film throughout.
Saying that, however, The Awakening Of The Ants really doesn’t pack much of an emotional punch beyond a fairly simplistic sense of frustration and even pity.
It doesn’t grab you by the throat and pull you into the world of its main characters, letting you experience their struggles as if they were your own – and that’s why it never provides particularly powerful or interesting emotional drama.
Social dramas are in all truth very commonplace nowadays, and many tackle similar issues in similarly underwhelming fashion. As a result, while the film is certainly earnest in its intention and focus, and holds an intimate, personal story within, it does very little to make itself stand out in a crowd that’s often a whole lot more underwhelming than it intends to be.
Overall, The Awakening Of The Ants isn’t a particularly excellent film. It’s honest, genuine and intimate, and its down-to-earth brand of drama is commendable. But in all truth, it does little to make its genuinely heavy-going themes feel so, proving underwhelming and frankly rather boring throughout. And that’s why I’m giving it a 6.4.