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“Flamin’ Hot” Offers Up A Tasty Snack

BY DANIELA EGGERSTEDT

Richard Montañez played by Jesse Garcia.


The movie “Flamin’ Hot,” recently released on Hulu and Disney Plus, is based on the true story of Ricardo Montanez, the janitor credited with creating the well-known Frito Lays snack chips Hot Cheetos; you know, the snack that we all love? Though this movie isn't only about the creation of these amazingly spicy chips, it shows the struggles many in the Hispanic community go through to reach their dreams, including racial profiling, brown people discrimination, and opportunities not distributed equally.


The film travels through the 1960s to the 1990s and starts at the Frito Lays company plant at

Rancho Cucamonga, California.  The main characters are Ricardo Montanez and Judy Montanez, played by Jesse Garcia and Annie Gonzalez. The story explores the struggles and important moments Ricardo went through as a child all the way up to his adulthood such as the physical abuse he experienced from his father, living through The Chicano movement, the bullying he experienced in school and the discrimination and racism he, along with his wife and kids, endured every day.


One of the many things I enjoyed so much about this movie was the impact his wife’s support did for him, how much she supported everything he wanted to achieve and how it is not a portrait of a stereotypical Mexican housewife. There’s nothing I didn’t like about this movie; it’s a relatable movie when it comes to bullying, ‘not fitting in’, and brown people discrimination. 


Cover of the movie “Flamin’ Hot”.


One lesson the movie offers is not judging others for their appearance, beliefs or for what they do for a living. It teaches you how others may not have the same opportunities many people have. The lesson everyone will learn from this movie is the basic rule in kindergarten: ‘treat others like you want to be treated.’

“Flamin’ Hot” will help others understand everyday life as a brown person and how a person being discriminated against may feel. One reason I consider this to be a “great” movie is that’s directed by a Latina, Eva Longoria. The actors and crew are all Latinos and Latinas. It is such an inspiring movie for his community to see him able to explore his opportunities and reach his goals with his dedication, determination, positive attitude and hard work. It demonstrates how the American dream can come true not just for his community but for anyone who feels and looks different.


The rating I give this movie is 4 out of 5 stars; not perfect but still great. It is a tasty movie

definitely worth watching.

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