Beautifully shot and offered potential with its well acted, interesting main characters but half way through the film you realise these came at the expense of a plot and you are left sitting through the second half waiting for it to come to its obvious, thoughtless conclusion.
Barring the final scene which sadly veers close to being tasteless despite the tenderness of the film before it, Japón still stands out as a great début. I like Carlos Reygadas, but this feels like the best film from him, despite being the first, because it doesn't try to force itself into being a 'great' film and has more of a personal and lyricalness to it compared to the later ones I've seen.
The Mexican landscapes are ruggedly arresting and majestic (I've seen Mexico in a new light), the story is somewhat unsettling and not, for me, in the form of a thought-provoking sucker-punch that offers you something meaty to mentally chew over. Five out of five stars for the cinematography, two stars for all else. On a side note: do any of you know where in Mexico this was filmed? The Hidalgo state, perchance?