Review by Mark Schwab
March 5th, 2016
The title of Eugene Rodriguez' short film LAS NENAS DE PAPA' translates into "Daddy's Girls", which is normally a sweet affectation within a family. But Rodriguez' definition is much darker as we follow a father (played by writer/director Rodriguez) plagued by nightmarish regrets.
Most of the action plays out in the father's bedroom where we flashback to events on what was and why our protagonist is in such agony. As an actor, Rodriguez acquits himself well enough by conveying a truly tortured man who can see no way past his pain except through the barrel of a gun. As a director, he keeps a decent pace and makes the film look good enough despite the very limited budget. It's as a writer where I felt his earnest attempt fell a little bit short. It isn't that the subject matter was unworthy - I'd bet plenty of fathers who experience tragedy go what this lead character goes through - but it just wasn't a fresh enough idea. I was too aware, too early in the game as to where it was headed.
However, I really admired that the whole film plays out without dialogue and still gets the story across clearly. I also was affected by the ending scenes despite the lack of surprise surrounding them which is a testament to Rodriguez' commitment to the character. There is no questioning Rodriguez' passion as a filmmmaker. LAS NENAS DE PAPA' may not be anything you haven't seen before but it is still a solidly acted, earnestly told tale of emotional pain that (mostly) manages to rise above its limited budget.