Steve Barron’s darkly melancholic, low-budget drama is worlds away from the blockbuster swagger of his earlier Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A Heimlich Manoeuvre poster casts a shadow over the everyday routine of morbidly shy Ecuadorian dishwasher Jorge (Octavio Gómez).
His daily grind in a dingy Queens diner sees him bullied by co-worker Jerry (Aaron Paul) and nursing an obsession for the new waitress (Eugenia Yuan). The choking motif neatly expresses the suffocating agony of immigrant displacement, while elegant animation takes us inside Jorge’s mind.
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