La Bamba (1987)

Great song, too bad he didn’t write it.

The drama is based on the real life events that affected the lives of rock star Ritchie Valens, his half-brother Bob Morales, his girlfriend Donna Ludwig and the rest of their families. On February 3, 1959, “the day the music died”, three rock legends Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper died. Buddy Holly’s movie was made so heres Ritchie’s with the same ending.

This film is not a very good biopic of a small-time legend but its good nonetheless. The film shows a kid who never really got to grow up and develop into the big star that he started becoming and its spends a lot of time his faamily life, such as his uneasy relationship with his half-brother.

The film is good at its writing especially showing a very realistic script that Valens’ has with the people around him. I liked how in his life no matter how famous he got he still experienced the constant racism especially from his girlfriends dad, and how even though he feels hes on top of the world he is still having problems with his family.

However, the problem with this film is not so much of the film as it is the true story. Since he was about only 17 when he died, there is not much to capture in this legends life, especially since he only had 3 hits. I didn’t feel that too into the story since I already knew what happens at the end, and at times I felt the movie became too cliched, like when he was having a dream about him being in a plane crash.

The film isn’t greatly well acted. I will give Lou Diamond Phillips some props since this is his first movie and he was put in such a huge role. But the real standout in this film is from Esai Morales who plays his half-brother. Esai gives the film its dramatic feel in the movie and I think totally steals the show.

Though his life isn’t as miraculous as Buddy Holly the film still shows an untold story about a legend took away from the world too quick. Its an OK film not a great bio-pic though.


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