Wanda de Jesus
Roger G. Smith
Water & Power (NR)
Drama 88 May 2, 2014
For Gil, that means navigating back-room deals; for Gabe, it's being a police office of dubious integrity on a force as proudly thuggish as any street gang. After Gabe assassinates a high-ranking gang member, forces high and low come for his head, with Gil forced to compromise his political career to save his brother. It's a layered narrative full of flashbacks (sometimes mere hours; sometimes years) and laden with symbolism (only with the running motif of a lost deer does the symbolism become heavy-handed).
Crammed with cool cameos (the late Lupe Ontiveros, Wanda de Jesus, Roger Guenveur Smith) and anchored with taut performances by Murciano and Gonzalez, the film's real star is its heady wordplay. From the cool voiceover to the crisp dialogue, the script strikes the perfect balance between stylized and naturalistic language that is profane, poetic, and prophetic.