Narrative Analysis Essay
Mosquita y Mari
Mosquita y Mari is an exquisitely crafted film written and directed by Aurora Guerrero. The film revolves around two Latina teenagers who gradually fall in love. What starts as an innocent friendship attempt between Yolanda and Mari slowly blossoms into an intense attraction (Guerrero). Initially, Yolanda honestly decides to help out Mari, who is struggling with her homework and settling in school.
Yolanda and Mari’s friendship grows exponentially. They start to explore their weird but beautiful connection. They often find themselves lost in their private world, a concoction of lingering gazes mixed with unspoken affection. They even find themselves giving each other heartfelt confession of uncertain features (Guerrero). Mari gives Yolanda the nickname Mosquita, describing her affectionately as a sweet little insect. She could have chosen a different insect, though. Nevertheless, affectionate.
Eventually, the relationship begins to have adverse effects on their lives. Yolanda, normally a grade A student, gets relatively lower grades, and Mari barely holds onto her new job, and her incompetence becomes an issue. They start to get pressure from home, school and work, which drives their relationship to the edge.
As discussed earlier, the movie is predominantly about two young ladies, Yolanda, also known as Mosquita and Mari. Yolanda, the protagonists in the film. According to Barsam and Monahan (10) the protagonist is the center of the film as they are the main character the entire story is based upon. Despite Yolanda being the main character, Mari plays an equally important role. The plot cannot develop without Mari (Guerrero). The protagonist refers to the center of the story. The protagonist makes the key moves in the film, and as the movie develops, Yolanda experiences bares the consequences of her decisions.
The movie is set up in a predominantly Mexican immigrant society in Los Angeles. This setup acts as the character’s normal world. The normal world refers to the set in the film that precedes the inciting incident (Barsam & Monahan 130). Yolanda and Mari do not only go to school together but also are neighbors living in Huntington Park, New York. The set revolves around school, home, and their neighborhood.
Yolanda and Mari come from very different families and dynamics. That plays a role in their attraction towards each other. Whereas Yolanda is an only child to relatively older immigrant parents, Mari and her siblings are raised by her mother. Mari’s father passed away, and her mother is struggling to keep them afloat. Mari’s family being undocumented, it is very difficult for her to find a stable income (Guerrero). She is forced to become street-smart to support the family. On the other hand, Yolanda’s main goal is to study and go to college.
Despite being neighbors, Yolanda and Mari’s first acquaintance is in class. The teacher pairs them together in class. They had already seen each other in the neighborhood but had not acquainted themselves. They, later on, find themselves in trouble in the washroom. Yolanda’s friends Vicky and Vero, bully Mari in the washroom after finding her smoking marijuana (Guerrero). The commotion causes them to be caught, and Mari saves Yolanda from the whole conundrum but is threatened with expulsion, more so if she doesn’t improve her grades.
In a bid to make it up for Mari, Yolanda convinces her to help her out and tutor her after school. Initially, Yolanda is hesitant. She does not believe she is cut out for college and renders it useless to improve her grades (Guerrero). Mari convinces Yolanda that despite her disinterest in college, passing would disapprove the administrators who already consider her a delinquent.
Mari and Yolanda first experience their sexual tension when Yolanda joins Mari to Study. This is the inciting incident. This refers to a moment in the film that sets the pace for the main story in a film (Barsam & Monahan 498). Mari removes her shirt and is staring at the mirror. She notices Yolanda staring at her. Mari touches herself sensually. There is an awkward silence. The sexual undercurrent can be felt. Yolanda complements Mari and tells her that she looks nice.
Yolanda and Mari ignore their moment and continue with their friendship. They become best friends. They, later on, discover an abandoned shop and make it their solace. They make the shop their meeting spot where they occasionally seek refuge (Guerrero). Yolanda becomes even more attracted to Mari as they continue to meet up after school for their studies and friendly rendezvous. Yolanda’s primary goal is to be with Mari. The primary goal is the main motive of the actions of the characters (Barsam & Monahan 130). Their friendship is not normal. She is attracted to Mari. Her main objective is them being together.
At this point, the central question is whether Mari has similar feelings for Yolanda. Barsam and Monahan (134) defines the central question as the broad question that queries the premise of the narrative. Throughout the movie, Yolanda is more vulnerable than Mari. Mari shows affection for Yolanda. She showcases jealous moments, nevertheless, they do not seem to be more intimate.
Yolanda becomes concerned with Mari skipping school and her unusual behavior. She then confronts Mari when Mari uncharacteristically shows excitement when given a book by her teacher. Yolanda confronts Mari about it, and Mari responds that way she can skip tuition with her. An awkward moment ensues (Guerrero). Yolanda is heartbroken. Mari then explains to Yolanda that she is not all about studying; she needs to support her family with the rent.
Yolanda realizes that there is more to life than school and her parent’s expectations. She wants to explore more beyond the confines of schooling. She decides to help Mari with her small job. She gets to spend more time with Mari. They become more intimate. Meanwhile, Yolanda does not realize the impact their friendship has on her schooling (Guerrero). Her grades drop. Mari also abdicates her responsibilities at her job and is determined to spend more time with Yolanda.
While Yolanda and Mari are lost in each other’s world, the world around them begins to wonder what is happening to them. Aurera Guerrero begins to raise the stakes here. Rising stakes refers to the introduction of circumstances that threaten the plot of the story (Barsam & Monahan 134). Their parents suspect that they spend time with their boyfriends. Yolanda’s other friends, on the other hand, suspect Yolanda’s feelings for Mari. Vicky sneakily attempts to hook up Yolanda with a different boy (Stake Character). Mari sees them; she becomes jealous. Their bond, however, is more steadfast. Despite the concerns from their parents, Yolanda and Mari block the whole world around them. They become oblivious of the line between their friendship and romance. Yolanda has her parents summoned at school concerning her grades. Mari becomes careless at work and loses her job.
Yolanda finally gathers the courage to address the elephant in the room. She tries talking about her feelings towards Mari. Mari, upset about losing her jobs, shut Mari up before her only attempt to put her feelings in words. This is Yolanda’s crisis moment in the story. Crisis refers to important moments the protagonist faces in the film (Barsam & Monahan 134). Mari focuses on looking for another job. As a result, her time with Yolanda dissipates. Yolanda becomes disoriented and confused by her distance.
Yolanda finally learns that her efforts paid off. Mari scores an A in the final. Yolanda is excited and immediately looks for Mari. She is optimistic that the news might bring them back together. She finds Mari with a different boy at the abandoned shop where they used to hangout.
Yolanda is betrayed. The movie is approaching its climax. Climax refers to the turning point in the movie (Barsam & Monahan 134). An indication that the movie is about to end. Yolanda turns to Vicky and Vero to find solace. Vicky and Vero are happy that they have won their friend back. Yolanda cannot fit in. She does not enjoy their lifestyle and company any more. Yolanda resolves to ditch them as she reevaluates her life. The movie encounters a resolution which is defined by Barsam and Monahan (134) as the process where the loose ends are tied up as the narrative moves to a conclusion. Yolanda decides to take charge of her life, and her decisions are not based on her feelings for Mari. The movie comes to an end as Yolanda and Mari face each other on the street, giving the impression of them asking themselves, what next?
Morals and Ideologies Analysis
The movie, the main objective, is social awareness. In the beginning, the movie highlights the lifestyle of immigrant families in the United States. The families live in a close neighborhood, and their children go to the same schools. Despite the children having different challenges, their problems arise from their immigrant status. Both parents earn meager salaries. Yolanda’s mother reminds her that she should focus on their education; they do not toil for in vain. Yolanda is challenged with living up to her parent’s expectations. Mari is forced to juggle school with work to support her family at a very tender age.
We also experience the nature of complex relationships among teenagers. Yolanda is initially best friends with Vera. When Mari joins their class, Yolanda’s relationship with Vera is threatened, and eventually, they do not hang out more. Vera is jealous of Mari and protective of Yolanda. Mari is also treated as an outcast (Guerrero). Despite the school administrator having no evidence of Mari smoking in the bathroom, Mari is threatened with suspension. Her grades also judge Mari. The movie showcases the biased education system, where students with good grades are treated better, whereas students with poor grades are treated as delinquents.
Mosquita y Mari also explores sexual maturation and awakening amongst young teenagers. The plot revolves around Yolanda and Mari’s sexual tension. Yolanda finds Mari sexually attractive (Guerrero). She, however, has trouble, putting her feelings into words. However, she expresses them through her subtle actions.
The movie also highlights how society struggles with understanding a teenager’s sexual identity. While Yolanda and Mari intrinsically were struggling with their own sexual identity, their neighbors and parents had no idea that they are attracted to each other. Rumors even started spreading that they spend time with their boyfriends. Despite Vera noticing that Yolanda was into Mari, she still tried to force her into hooking up boys. She completely disrespected her and did not try to understand her (Guerrero). Here the movie encapsulates on the challenges facing young people who want same-sex relationships.
Finally, the movie highlights the intricacies of peer pressure amongst teenagers. Peer pressure is severally highlighted in the film. There were positive and negative effects throughout the film. Yolanda influence Mari positively through their tuition, and Mari eventually obtained an A grade in her final exam. Yolanda got out of her comfort zone and helped Mari with sales on the street.
Nevertheless, them running away to be together negatively affected aspects of their lives, Mari with her job and Yolanda, her grades. Vera pressures Yolanda into associating with boys despite her not being attracted to them (Guerrero). Vera’s friends tend to do what Vera initiates. At the end of the film, Vera and friends forcefully coerce Yolanda into smoking marijuana in the car, which made her ditch them.
Richard, Barsam and Dave Monahan. Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film. 6th ed., W. W Norton, 2018.
Guerrero, Aurora et al. Mosquita Y Mari. , 2013.
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