Review: "Where the Tracks End"
Reminiscent of a body of 1990s and early 2000s international films, this romanticized drama may feel a little manipulative in its storytelling and style, but it's an effective and worthwhile movie. As in Where the Tracks End, a child protagonist whose life is changed for the better thanks to a teacher or mentor is a common theme in films like Butterfly's Tongue from Spain, The Chorus from France, or Cinema Paradiso from Italy. They all brandished innocent kids, predictable heartbreak, and a similar aesthetic vibe with musical scores and cinematography designed to elicit maximum emotion.
Where the Tracks End is ultimately about the inspirational power of a caring teacher, played wonderfully by Barraza, and the deep bonds of childhood friendships, with four young actors embodying the roles with relatively unforced authenticity. The film seems to suggest these bonds may be especially strong among children from disadvantaged backgrounds, like the kids of day and migrant railroad laborers in rural Mexico seen here. The story touches on the feelings of first love, the exploitation and occasional resentment of laborers, the privilege of a good education, the pain of loss, and the lessons learned from friendship. Leave your cynicism at the door, have the Kleenex handy, and lean into this heartwarming tale.
Read the full review at CommonSenseMedia
Images courtesy of Netflix