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Much like the films Pariah and Circumstance, Joven y Alocado (Young and Wild) meets the audience at the intersection of female sexuality and cultural, societal, and familial expectations. While not downplaying the importance of young women having agency over their own lives, Joven y Alocado takes a much lighter approach than Pariah and Circumstance. Directed by Marialy Rivas and starring Alicia Rodríguez as Daniela, this Chilean film is sweet, erotically charged, and unapologetic.
Based on an anonymous blog written by a young Chilean woman, Joven y Alocado stars Daniela, a 17 year old girl who writes about her thoughts, frustrations, and sexual escapades while living with her conservative evangelical family. In giving the internet public domain over her private life, Daniela is able to curb the isolation that comes with the conflicts of wanting an autonomous life and living with conservative familial expectations. While certain critics have taken issue with Alicia Rodríguez’s performance for being lackluster, I found her to be genuine. There is a certain expectation for women on film to fit into neat categories. If she is to be the seducer, she must be smoldering and vivacious. If she is to be the prude, she must be meek and demure. Alicia Rodríguez is none of these. She wavers between being confident and unsure. At times she is expressionless and bored and at other times, you can see the light in her eyes. She is a complicated young woman who is still figuring out who she is. She is authentic. Much like the character of Daniela, the film is fluid. It moves between scenes full of young love and absurdist cartoon drawings. There are scenes of raw sexuality and others of gentle sensuality. It is less of an attack on religious conservatism and more of a focus on human interaction, how we connect with our people, ourselves, and our basic desires to live our own life.
Joven y Alocado is currently available via Netflix Instant Streaming.