Bad Habits Simon Bross

Bad Habits Simon Bross
Considering how ridiculously obsessed the general population is with body image, gym memberships, caloric intake and the delusion that fleeting external cultural adherence through body type will somehow deliver happiness and inner-complexity, it's surprising that more films like Bad Habits haven't been made. It addresses inner-emptiness and personal definition through abnegation or indulgence, relating the issues appropriately with food. Elena (Elena de Haro) starves herself and works out relentlessly when not berating her daughter, Linda (Elisa Vicedo), for having a little junk in her trunk. In creating some deep psychological scars for her daughter, Elena is able to avoid her body issues and the fact that her husband, Gustavo (Marco Antonio Trevino), can't bear to screw her bony body anymore, preferring the company of a fleshier Peruvian woman. Meanwhile, Mathilde (Ximena Ayala), a nun, fasts with the belief that this deprival will stop the rains and flooding destroying Mexico, mirroring religious denial with eating disorders. To drive home the symbol of downpours as a lack of control, the pipes at the school where Gustavo works are leaking, leaving experts perplexed at the root cause, which is amusingly revealed, with irony, later in the film. Commercial director Simon Bross has crafted a thoughtful and poetic film with unique beauty in every frame. If slight and lacking intended profundity, Bad Habits is a visual treat, rich with textures and colour, creating environments that are appropriately lush or washed out for a given body type or attitude towards eating. While the performances are uniformly impressive, it is Elena de Haro's depiction of an anorexic in danger that rings most sincere and terrifying, channelling the self-destructive lengths a person will go to just to fit in. Included with the DVD is a "making of" that features a lot of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the production team. Unfortunately, it also features the same dreadful white-on-white subtitles that plague the film. (E1)