All The Places: An Easy Going Road Trip Genre Movie
When Fernando and Gabriela meet up for the funeral of their father they are hardly sketched out to go on the trip that they actually take upon themselves to accomplish. Gabriela is desperately waiting for Fernando to arrive for the funeral. But Fernando due to circumstances unknown arrives late only when Gabriela is speaking a few words about her dear father at the cemetery. Gabriela unquestionably has grudges against Fernando, first of all, for reaching late for the funeral to pay last respects to their beloved father, and secondly for abandoning her and not bothering to inquire about her progress for the past 15 years.
Sudden Genre Change: From Reunion Movie to A Road Trip Movie
The film shows us how the siblings meet each other after a very long time and they still hold that magic that they had earlier when they were young. But suddenly when they come across a map that they had done when they were young that’s when the movie suddenly changes its genre, from a reunion movie to a road trip movie. Even though the characters embark on the trip they aren’t sure whether they should carry it forward or not. Gabriela thinks that they decided to start the trip while they were drunk and shouldn’t, therefore, continue it as they are literally unplanned. Fernando after reaching a hotel on the way realizes that he hadn’t premeditated for the trip and that he is required back at the bank in Singapore where he is currently working. So the trip wasn’t in the plans at all. Hence, Is it a road trip genre movie?
The fact that the characters have left their comfort zone i.e. their home and that too on their nostalgic bikes already gives the movie a colouring of the road trip genre movie. The siblings may not be convinced of the journey they are undertaking but that is the whole purpose which is met in the later stages of the drive. The characters are uncertain and confused in life and thus through the trip they get themselves settled, resolved, forgiven, stable, and confident. A road trip genre movie always alters the perspective of the characters that it portrays. In All the Places, the perspectives of Fernando and Gabriela change drastically, making them independent and responsible persons.
All The Places a Lenient Road Trip Genre Movie
Having said that, All the Places is a lenient road trip genre movie, because usually a road trip movie takes and exploits either of the two main narratives that exist in the genre. The quest-style film where the story takes us through the lives of characters who are making discoveries. Gabriela and Fernando hardly make any discovery but only self-realization of where they are and were going wrong. The other narrative in the genre is the outlaw chase wherein the characters are running from the law enforcement authority. Only on one occasion do the siblings chance upon law enforcement authority who asks the brother and sister as to where their helmets are but then mock their dressing style and leave them free after a bit of ragging. Clearly, a passing forgettable experience that the characters have on this travel.
The protagonists hardly go through any serious conflicts or troubles which they can’t handle. Unlike other road trip genre movies, they are not in search of freedom or release. They do not create different identities to stay away from trouble. They are completely themselves. The journey is light-hearted and entertaining for the central characters. The music that accompanies the characters when they are on the road or when they halt for purchasing clothes and food or while they are at the festival and the hippie gathering gives the viewer a relaxing and pleasurable feeling.
The Protagonist on the Move
The fact that like any other road movie, All the Places keeps its protagonist on the move despite the many untoward circumstances that they have to undergo and in the process go through introspection and find themselves makes this road trip movie a success. But here the movement is not due to a danger they experience in the present place but purely because they have chosen to move to the next destination. So yet again, even in the case of the protagonists on the move, All the Places tweaks the movement to a deliberate choice of the characters to proceed not run from the situation.
At first, they come across a wine-and-cheese festival being celebrated, and they join in and enjoy the most. This festival gives them a chance to travel back in time and recollect the memories of when they would practice tap dance. They mesmerize the audience with their fantabulous performance. Missing not a beat and having the precision they had gained years ago. At the same place they across two cousins who are in need of friendship just like Fernando and Gabriela. They become friends and want to spend time with each other. The girl with Fernando refrains from being intimate with him and the boy with Gabriela gives her the experience of tantric s*x.
As they proceed, they bump into two hitchhikers on their way to a hippie gathering. An unplanned entry into the hippie gathering takes place where being drugged heavily Fernando expresses to Gabriela that he has a son. Gabriela convinces Fernando to go and meet his son Riccardo. Thus, they move from the festival to the hippie gathering to meet Riccardo. Very different types of movements. From reminiscing the past to delving into the present of Fernando and Gabriela. One thing that keeps their movement or the start and end of the trip connected is they playing their favourite game i.e. ping pong.
Protagonists Find One’s Self, Their Love & Their Family
They start the trip because of ping pong and the memories associated with it together and they end their trip by playing ping pong although getting into trouble with their opponent with whom they bet on their motorbikes. Gabriela all through the journey understands that she has been rigid and has not tried the possibilities to move on with her life. She has been so stuck up with her past marriage and the divorce and the infertility issues. The road trip, thus, focuses on the internal conflicts of the characters and brings about the transformation that they needed.
They, in a way, as they return home find one’s self, their love and their family. Therefore, you notice Fernando making it a point to meet Riccardo and tell him that he is his father and wants to finally take responsibility. Gabriela too takes the chance to get rid of her mundane life and move on. She takes on to embarking on another trip to all the places she can go to.
Although aspects of moving on and finding oneself exist in the road trip genre set movie, All the Places becomes a diluted form of the genre. Or one could easily notice hybrid genres in the movie. All the Places has a reunion, comedy, drama, music, and a tiny bit of action. Comedy and drama happen between the protagonists who fight on tiny and trivial issues and throw temper tantrums on and off. Nevertheless, it is a feel-good and heartfelt movie that takes the viewer through all the places in Mexico.