Monday, February 09, 2009
Steven Soderbergh's Che (***1/2)
I'm not going to write many details about this movie. I can safely assume that the important subjects in this biopic, will be talked about in the comments.
There are two versions of the Che movie. One is called the Roadside Edition. This version is the admission cost of two movies, and includes a free booklet. The movie is shown in full, both Part I called The Argentine and Part II called Guerilla in 41/2 hours. The other version is for theaters to show the two parts seperately on different dates. As of today I only saw Part I. Part I starts in Mexico and goes through to the victory of the revolution, with scenes in black and white of Che at the UN. Part II is mostly about Bolivia and his capture. Both parts stand alone as good movies.
I don't understand why Benicio del Toro wasn't nominated for the Best Actor Award, at this year's Oscars. He won Best Actor at Cannes. He seemed thinner than I've ever seen him. You don't often see a main character constantly having asthma attacks.
Benicio del Toro was one of the producers of this film. He spent a few years, studying Che's writings, and meeting people in his life, including his wife.
The movie is in Spanish, with English subtitles. The Puerto Rican del Toro, mastered the Argentine accent of Che.
The camera work was a hand held camera style, with black and white footage in a newsreel style, showing the later UN visit. Soderbergh refrained from using close-up shots, to respect Che's collectivist beliefs.
I found the film mostly accurate. Some of the important debates were beyond Soderbergh's grasp to delve into, but they were touched on, as what is more important, the underground in the urban areas or the guerilla fight? Anybody who has read this blog any amount of time, knows my opinion.
Some of the best parts are related to the ethics of the revolution, as dealing with traitors and thiefs.
This movie is a mirror on Che, not a dramatization like the movie W. It didn't try for much more than the historical record.