'7 Dias' Gets Some Help From U215 Nov, 2007 By: Angelique Flores
Eduardo Arroyuelo of 7 D?as.
7 D?as stayed under the radar at the U.S. box office, garnering $16,791 from a limited theatrical release. However, it was nominated for five Ariel awards, won two Silver Goddess Awards in Mexico and caught the attention of super rock group U2.
Xenon Pictures is bringing the film to DVD Nov. 20 (see review, page 18). Extras on the DVD ($24.99) include the featurette “The Mexican Way,” the music video for “Bienvenido al Anachocer” by La Ley, and a CNN interview with the director and screenwriter Fernando Kalife. The movie is in Spanish and has English subtitles.
7 D?as stars Eduardo Arroyuelo as a small-time promoter in Mexico named Claudio, who gets into debt and mixed up with the mob. He has seven days to book a U2 concert or he loses his life. The film co-stars Martha Higadera and Jamie Camil.
Arroyuelo won the Silver Goddess award for Best Newcomer – Male in the Mexican Cinema Journalists awards in 2006. The actor had done a lot of television work in Mexico, but 7 D?as is his first starring role in a feature film.
“I had offers before for leading roles in films, but I wanted it to be a special movie for the first film to have under my belt,” he said. “[Claudio] was a wonderful character. It was a wonderful film.”
The film was shot four years ago, as Mexican cinema was starting to boom again.
“Most of the scripts that were handed to me were typical Mexican city, urban stories,” Arroyuelo said. “Not that it's unreal, but it's pretty much most of the films that were being done then. A [film] that stars a middle-class hero was the first thing that made [7 D?as] different. And he was coming of age.”
Also, Arroyuelo explains, the film had a simple, but still globally appealing and contemporary script.
“There's no explicit sex or violence, which are usual ingredients for a commercial film,” he said. “This doesn't have it. It was so simple.”
Arroyuelo said that films such as 7 D?as will help give the film industry in Mexico a boost. Besides getting actors excited about the script, Arroyuelo said the film also got the seal of approval from such heavies as director Guillermo Arriaga and rock band U2.
Writer-director Kalife made U2 an integral part of the movie without having access to or permission from the band. He shot the film using U2 concert footage and music in the hopes of getting clearances during post-production.
In a lucky twist of fate, Bono was vacationing in Mexico and heard about Kalife's project through a mutual friend. So Bono requested to meet Kalife and see the film. The meeting was arranged, and Bono called it “the film that touched U2's heart.” The band loved the movie and subsequently gave the film their blessing and Kalife cost-free clearances for their concert footage and music.
“He said it was a very humble homage to the band,” Arroyuelo said. “[Bono] didn't hesitate on giving us his help.”
Even though he was the star of the film, Arroyuelo never got a chance to meet Bono. “I'm the only one [of the cast and crew] who hasn't met any of them,” he said. “Everybody else has but me.”