It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"Mi Vida Loca," which translates as "My Crazy Life," takes place in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, and is about street gangs. An image immediately springs into the mind, but it would be the wrong image, because these gang members are younger than you might imagine. And they are women.
The writer and director, Allison Anders, moved into the neighborhood and researched the film by getting to know many of the young Latina women who were her neighbors. She found that their personal, social and emotional lives were tied up in gangs; if, in previous generations, gangs were all-male and the women were sort of a ladies' auxiliary, now the women have gangs of their own.
And drifting just under the film's surface is the unspoken fact that these gangs are filling a vacuum, because so many of the young men in the community are already in jail, or dead, because of their own gang involvement.
The movie tells the sometimes interlocking stories of several of the women, who narrate on the sound track. The central story involves two friends who have children by the same father, who is killed in a drug deal. They feel they must become enemies, but at last they decide to honor their friendship, and they see their babies as a form of immortality for the dead father.