Video: Selena (1997)

Selena (1997) is directed by Gregory Nava and tells the true story of Mexican American star Selena Quintienilla; her life as a child, how her and her family began playing music together, her musical career, and the tragic murder that ended the young twenty three year old’s life.

Jeniffer Lopez is the standout in this film and does a fantastic job at portraying a lovable, innocent, and passionate latina who is optimistic about pursuing her dreams with her family. From her verbal expressions and voice tone she is incredible at being Selena who I absolutely loved and thought was incredibly charming. Rebecca Lee Meza played a younger Selena who I also thought captured the same positive qualities Jeniffer’s performance brings forward. 

I was born and raised in Corpus Christi and there’s two things Corpus is well-known for: Whataburger and Selena. Corpus Christi is the place where Selena spent a good amount of her life and where her body currently rests. Additionally, downtown features a monumental statue of Selena. As someone who is very familiar with the scenery in Texas, it was beautiful to see South Texas culture captured so accurately. Cinematropher Edward Lachman depicts an authentic look at all of the environments featured in the film.

Second to loving Selena was an admiration towards her father Abraham. Edward James Olmos depicts the tough love a caring protective father would have for his daughter. The scene at the beginning of the film with him being upset at Selena’s outfit had me laughing because it reminded me of my grandma’s strict standards but you can’t help but still like him because you know he genuinely cares for his daughter more than anything and wants nothing more than to protect her. Although I did not find the character development between Selena and her significant other Chris Pérez, played by Jon Seda, very strong in this film, the scene that did hit me emotionally is when Selena drives to her father’s house after the unexpected radio announcement. The conversation between the two was the climax of all the events that took place before and was beautifully written.

Ultimately, this film is a classic because it does an effective job at telling the story of one of the biggest legends in tejano music in an entertaining and emotional way. I certainly think this film is worth checking out to quickly get an overview of Selena’s story. I hope the series that releases adds detail and depth that we didn’t quite get to see within this 2 hour film. Selena: The Series drops on Netflix December 4th and I’d like to thank Netflix for allowing me to view the series a few weeks early. I will be posting my review next Monday November 30th! Hope you all tune in for that!

Final Verdict:An entertaining and emotional classic about one of the biggest legends in tejano music.