It’s a world with which many viewers will likely be unfamiliar, but one that you become tangentially a part of, as the voyeuristic and intangible Senoritas brings you to Bogotá and youthful uncertainty.
First time director Columbia-born, Toronto-based Lina Rodriguez takes you on a curious, intimate journey through the days and nights of Alejandra María Serrano, a young woman living with her mother and uncertainly acting out her days and nights with friends and lovers. In her rather experimental debut, Rodriguez tells a semi-autobiographical story with professional and non-professional actors, including her mother in the role of Alejandra’s mother, with dialogue both scripted and improvised.
For better and worse, the film is an immersive exercise, almost exclusively made up of single close up shots that hold on seemingly interminably. Indeed, one lengthy scene simply follows Alejandra from behind – a close up on the back of her head – as she walks to and from the club late one evening, the only sounds coming from the clip-clop of her heels and the din of the world around here.
It is perhaps the closet the viewer can get to feeling what it’s like to being a woman walking at night in Columbia; it’s certainly a long scene.
So it is a journey, one that is so personal it becomes routine, perfunctory, chronicling without hype or fanfare the more generic occurrences of the day, from putting on makeup to picking out a dress. It is indeed a minimalist film, and an authentic one at that, following the rhythms and heartbeats of a young woman whose world is novel and strange.
The result of such an approach is something curious and at times fascinating, but also waning. The climax, as it were, comes not sharply, but as a slow turn, a laborious cathartic exercise. Alejandra heads to bars and beds, dines with friends and chats with her mom, and whether or not it is particularly arresting, we are there alongside her.