Sunday, January 25, 2009


We are fresh out of seeing "Che" in its entirety, back to back at the Landmark Theatre in L.A. ( which is by the way an awesome movie theatre) and we are both somewhat in shock. For one because it is a long, intense film which shows you the rise and fall of this enigmatic, mythological revolutionary turned hipster t-shirt logo favorite. But, also because it did not receive a single Oscar nomination. Not one. Not even "Best Costumes," or "Sound Editing," it was completely shut out. Benicio del Toro deserves at the very least a nod for his performance in this epic. He masterfully portrays this character and blends so into the persona of Che, that I did a double take when searching for images for this post and I was confronted with a photo of the actual Che Guevara. The film is shown in two parts, the first "The Argentine," tracks Che as he aids Fidel Castro in their fight to take over Cuba. This part of the film is really well done. As we cut from pre-revolution Che in Mexico, to post-revolution Che in New York City and to mid-revolution Che in the jungles of Cuba, we get a nice, rounded portrait of this fascinating man. The second part of the film, "The Guerrilla," while interesting and certainly intense, plays more like a documentary about a political uprising gone awry. Soderbergh does a great job of portraying the imminent danger and terror of fighting a losing guerrilla war. The suspense is real, and the cinematography wonderful, but the second film doesn't stand on its own the way the first one does. Watched together, "Che" is an entertaining and inspiring film. You leave not feeling as if you know everything about Che Guevera and his struggles, but with more curiosity than you ever had about the man. You want to find a book to fill in the gaps in his history, discover more about his motivation, and the aftermath of his demise. Which to me, is the most you could ask for an historical biopic to do, leave you wanting to learn more.

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