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March marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Selena Quintanilla, the Queen of Tex-Mex and the mythical Mexican-American singer who with her tragic disappearance became an icon of Latin music.
With the announcement of the premiere of the second season of “Selena: the series” on Netflix this May 4, starring Christian Serratos, it was impossible for us not to remember the role that Jennifer López earned her rise to world fame with the movie “Selena” in 1997. Both productions (with their differences and coincidences) deal with childhood, growth, the first concerts, his infatuation, success and betrayal of the young singer who was murdered by Yolanda Saldívar at 23 years old.
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On the one hand, we have a young J. Lo in search of stardom. It was 1997, only two years had passed since Selena’s death and the news still caused pain in her followers, but their physical resemblance and the study of their gestures made this biographical film extremely successful.
And, on the other hand, there is Christian Serratos known for his participation in series such as “Ned’s School Survival Manual” and “The Walking Dead”, as well as in the “Twilight” film series. She stars in the Netflix series that was questioned by critics but still achieved high levels of popularity in the United States and Latin America.
JENNIFER LÓPEZ BEFORE BEING THE DIVA OF BRONX
(By Diana Gonzales)
Before becoming La Diva del Bronx, Jennifer López played the most important role of her career, that of the Queen of Tex-Mex, Selena Quintanilla (1970-1991). The now musical and film star known as J. Lo characterized the Mexican-American singer in 1997 just two years after her terrible murder in the film “Selena”, directed by Gregory Nava.
His characterization did not go unnoticed. “Selena,” her first lead, earned her a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. Jennifer López was 28 years old and a career that was about to take off thanks to this role, the same one she obtained after convincing the director in a strong competition where one of the applicants was none other than the star Salma Hayek.
“They gave me the role for a reason and I think it was to learn from her, so Selena will always be a great inspiration to me and I was very lucky to be chosen to play her. As an artist, this film was truly an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life, ”López highlighted on her Instagram account, 25 years after the death of Selena Quintanilla.
At that time, in the late 1990s, López’s main interest was in acting, while professional singing was a skill that he would take seriously later, according to his interviews. Seeing her in the role of Selena Quintanilla is confirming that fate played in her favor. Both were born and raised in the United States, they were of Latin origin with little command of Spanish. But, beyond these coincidences, Jennifer López made an effort to study and replicate the gestures, voice modulation and gesticulation of the singer. And it succeeds. The physical resemblance is supported by makeup, hairstyles and, especially, in their wardrobe.
Selena Quintanilla was named “the most influential and best-selling Latin artist of the 1990s” by Billboard magazine. (Photo: EMI Music)
“When I was preparing for the role, I studied her tirelessly, every step, the movements of her fingers, her lips … her contagious laugh … her expressions,” Jennifer López declared on her Instagram account at the age of 24. movie premiere. And you can check by watching the movie and comparing the concert scenes. In fact, several videos on YouTube highlight these coincidences.
Jennifer Lopez’s costumes have a special value in the film, an essential aspect to achieve credibility of the biographical story that is developed. The guarantee and credibility of the details that are narrated can be found in the executive production carried out by Selena’s father himself, valuable information for his fans.
The famous sequined bustier top with which Selena created a fashion and for which she would be called the Queen of the Bustier, in addition to being designed by her in real life, appears used by Jennifer López as a way to burn the passage of childhood already adulthood. The crop tops and the unforgettable purple jumpsuit that she wore at the Houston Astrodome concert, in front of more than 67,000 fans, reinforce the film’s fidelity to the true story of Selena.
Jennifer Lopez feels a lot of admiration for Selena and thanks God for giving her that opportunity to shine (Photo: Warner Bros / AFP)
Among the main themes that the feature film highlights is the aspect of language and racism, important to recognize because it is not only about family or love history. As seen in “Selena”, one of the concerns of Abraham Quintanilla, Selena’s father and manager, was the possible rejection of Selena’s songs by the American public due to their Mexican origin, which is why during her childhood she only sang in English. Once in Mexico, he managed to consolidate his musical career with his brothers, as they found in Tex-Mex and Spanish lyrics, the source of success. After achieving Mexican recognition, they entered the market in English, which allowed them to launch singles in that language.
Another characteristic that can be appreciated for or against (it depends on the optics) is that Jennifer López did not sing Selena’s songs for the film, apparently because the public was still hurt by the recent death of her idol and they could take it to bad. The one heard at concerts is Selena’s real voice with some modifications.
Author Rating: ★★★★ CHRISTIAN SERRATOS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF SELENA
(By Pierina Denegri)
The Netflix platform caused great anticipation last year with the announcement of “Selena: The Series”, a production that promised to show us the story of the queen of Tex-Mex in a way that had never been done before. Sure, with the singer’s brothers Suzette and AB Quintanilla executive produced, great detail was expected in the main character, but the first season disappointed more than one.
Here I enter into a conflict as a follower of Selena, because the series is an interesting and well-accomplished biographical basis for the Quintanilla family, but the singer is not given the prominence she deserves. In the first chapter there is a brushstroke on Selena’s difficult childhood, with the performance of Madison Taylor Baez, and how her father Abraham Quintanilla (Ricardo Chavira) sees great talent in her and tries to achieve the recognition she believes she deserves. In the same episode we are introduced to Serratos playing the adolescent version of the singer, but he fails to convince.
In the early performances, an attempt to imitate Selena is seen somewhat forced. Even in the most intimate moments of the family, Serratos presents a teenage girl with an optimism that looks somewhat false. In the following episodes, he is committed to showing the transformations that the group Selena y los Dinos suffered: the change of members, his first gold record, the learning that Selena went through to sing in Spanish. The only moment of tension well achieved was the path as composer and producer of AB (Gabriel Chavarría), who had to balance his life in the show and his family life.
Selena Quintanilla offered a complete show. An incredible voice, an outfit that enhanced her figure and marked her style, and dance moves that captured anyone. Now, this was difficult for Serratos to achieve and it showed. The actress had to lip-synch Selena’s voice and I feel like she lacked practice. In the first part of chapter 1, an adult version of the singer is seen and it is noted that she cannot vocalize Spanish well. They can say that it is a comment a bit exaggerated, but cutting the fantasy of seeing Selena on stage is something that is not forgiven.
One of the positive aspects of the series was the clothing. The glitter, the studs, the roses, the leather and everything we expected to see from a Selena in her early days, was achieved. Of course, it must be borne in mind that in the first part of the series, iconic looks like the one he used in the Astrodome or in the video clip for “Forbidden Love” are not shown, but the bustiers, boots, and shooting pants were not lacking high and the look changes in her hair.
One of the most important points when honoring the singer is to take into account the stage presence she had. The flavor of cumbia and the elegance and seduction of flamenco combined in the queen of tex-mex and it was impossible to stop looking at her. Each dance step, hand movement and gaze invited you to enjoy. This was seen, but on a smaller scale, in Serratos’ performance, as if she was too shy to shine as Selena herself. So we give this point to J. Lo, who managed to better capture Quintanilla’s power on stage.
(Photo: Sara Khalid / Netflix)
Now, we are on the verge of the premiere of Season 2 of the production and the trailer offers a look at the most well-known and shocking moments of Selena’s life. Here we will see her transition as a soloist, the recording of her desired album in English, the complicated relationship with her husband and, of course, the appearance of Yolanda Saldívar, who manages the singer’s fan club.
As Serratos herself says “season one was exciting because people received a history class”, but now we hope to see the Selena who knew how to shine and remain in everyone’s memory. And of course, let’s hope the actress achieves a performance that can shock us.
“Selena: The Series” allows us to get to know the Quintanilla family, especially the patriarch, in an intimate way and, although she has problems with the plot, she is easily enjoyed. It is a fairly interesting prelude for what is to come.
Author’s rating: ★★ 1 / 2MORE IN SKIP INTRO: RECOMMENDED VIDEO YOU MAY INTEREST Follow El Comercio on
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