No Boundaries (DVD Review)27 Jan, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Rated ‘R’ for strong language.
Stars Dani Garza, Mark McGraw, John D’Alonzo, Tyrone Holt, Barret Helms.
The emotional intersect of naïve dreams and harsh realities for illegal immigrants vying for a piece of the American dream has become increasing fodder in recent films, including Crossing Over, Paraíso Travel, El Nacional and Sin Nombre, among others.
Low-budget No Boundaries, from first-time writer-director Violet Mendoza, offers an entertaining twist (and engaging soundtrack) when Isabel (newcomer Dani Garza) enters the United States illegally (after paying a “coyote” to get her across the border) in an effort to better her life and support family back home, including an ill mother in need of an operation.
The young woman heads to Philadelphia, where her “illegal” cousin Martin (“A bad day here is better than the best day there,” he tells Isabel proudly) rents a room in a working class section in the city of brotherly love.
Isabel soon meets and falls in love with All-American Christopher (Mark McGraw, brother of country music singer Tim McGraw, and son of former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Tug), who, unbeknownst to her, is a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent.
Despite finding work (and saving money) as a cleaning lady for a wealthy family, Isabel soon comes face-to-face with the realities of illegal immigration when Martin is arrested and deported after his non-resident status is disclosed to ICE by a neighborhood informant.
Soon Christopher’s motives are in doubt, and Isabel is presented with a challenge that forces her to question her loyalties and the American dream.
No Boundaries is a no-frills portrait that fairly depicts hot-button immigration politics and reminds the viewer that the cliché “love conquers all” can indeed happen.