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The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

In Texas nearby the border of Mexico, the newcomer arrogant border patrolman Mike Norton mistakenly kills the Mexican cowboy Melquiades Estrada and buries him in the desert. When Melquiades's body is accidentally found one week later, his best friend, the ranch foreman Pete Perkins, claims the body to fulfill his promise and bury Melquiades in his hometown Jimenez and presses the local sheriff Belmont to find the killer. However, Melquiades is not delivered to Pete because he is not his relative, and his body is reburied in the local cemetery. When Rachel discloses the identity of the killer, Pete kidnaps Mike and forces him to dig the grave and bring the body to Melquiades's family in Mexico. While in their journey to Mexico, the sad reality of the hopeless Mexicans that live in the proximity of the border with USA is disclosed

The first and foremost thing I must talk about in this movie is the directing, my main reason for seeing this. How does Tommy "Agent K" Lee Jones do in his directorial debut? Well, it was nothing special. In the beginning of the movie it is set up pretty poorly together. I was confused in most parts. It did get better by the journey part of the movie, and less confusing. I also didnít like when it said "The First Burial of Melquiades Estrada" and it would have spanish subtitles on the bottom. I can understand the intended effect, but if I wanted it, I would have selected it on the DVD menu.

The second thing is the risky part of a movie, a director casting himself in the lead role. Tommy Lee does respectable, but a nearly unknown Barry Pepper almost stole the show. I say it with a serious face when I say I think an Oscar should have been involved somewhere in what looks to be a promising career.

Now, this movie isnít perfect, for instance I didnít like the characters, not one bit. Barry Pepperís Mike Norton character was pretty mean; the way he treats the Mexicans, his wife and people around him in general is despicable. Therefore the kindness people give back to him is undeserved. Making me question motives, and pretty much unreal, or at least the way I would act. Plus, you know how much I like back-story, we donít know much of the characters, I donít believe Pete Perkinsí past is ever mentioned, and all we know is Mike Norton is from Cincinnati.

The cinematography by 2-time Oscar winner Chris Menges was very good. I have great appreciation for the beautiful landscapes.

Finally, the music, itís not that I didnít like it, itís just that it wasnít as good as I thought it could have been, most of the time it was irritating. It was like the rest of the movie, good not great.

good; not great.