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The Motorcycle Diaries (Widescreen Edition) (2004)

Gael Garcia Bernal , Rodrigo De la Serna , Walter Salles  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo De la Serna, Mia Maestro
  • Directors: Walter Salles
  • Writers: Jose Rivera
  • Producers: Michael Nozik, Edgard Tenembaum, Karen Tenkhoff, Robert Redford
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • DVD Release Date: February 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JNCZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,882 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Motorcycle Diaries (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • A Moment with Alberto Ganado
  • Making of The Motorcycle Diaries
  • A Moment with Gael Garcia Bernal
  • "Toma Uno" ("Take One") with Gael Garcia Bernal
  • Music of the Road: An Interview with Composer Gustavo Santaolalla
  • Cast and Filmmakers

  • Editorial Reviews

    Based on a true life story, The Motorcycle Diaries is an inspiring and thrilling adventure that traces the youthful origins of a revolutionary spirit. The film follows two daring friends, Ernesto "Che" Guevara (Gael García Bernal, Y Tu Mama Tambien) and Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna), who hop on the back of a beat-up motorcycle for a breathtaking and exciting road trip across Latin America. From executive producer Robert Redford and acclaimed director Walter Salles (Central Station) comes a life-changing journey that critics are hailing as "Magnificent!" (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    273 of 297 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars "On the Road" with Che Guevara October 3, 2004
    As most potential viewers know, this film is based on diaries and letters to home written by Ernesto "Che" Guevara during a motorcycle and foot tour of a significant portion of South America during the early 1950s, years before Guevara achieved international renown as a Communist and Latino revolutionary. Thus, the film functions as an attempt to get at the heart of the person who preceded the myth. The film is therefore difficult to judge as pure cinema. Is this, on its own merits, a great film? Or is it a great film about Che Guevara? Interestingly, the person I saw this film with knew absolutely nothing about the subject of the film before it started, and did not connect Ernesto Guevara with Che Guevara until very late in the film. Her reaction was interesting. Until she realized that it was about Che, she says that she considered it a decent but only slightly above average "road" picture, but it gained considerably in her estimation once she realized who the film was about. I think she was correct, and I would agree with those who feel that what merits the film has depends to some degree on who the film is about. If Ernesto hadn't become Che, it would be a good film but of considerably less interest than it is.

    The film does a good job of rooting Che's eventual concern with the liberation of the oppressed by depicting his broad and constant encounters with everyday people throughout the continent. Camus wrote that it was important to side with the victims and not the executioners, and in his travels Ernesto spends most of his time with the victims. His near-epic exposure to the continent clearly condition his sympathies and inform his vision. At the end of the film it is easy to understand why Che chose a life dedicated to aiding the oppressed in Cuba and elsewhere.
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    30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Contrary to the review below... June 20, 2005
    By Jerika
    ...I want to offer an almost-opposite reaction. Yes, I admit I went into the theater not knowing a) much at all about Che Guevara, or b) that the film was even about Che. I was mesmerized all the way through, by the subtle messages about the plight of working-class Latin Americans, by the sweeping landscapes and by the fantastic performances. Once I (finally) figured out that the Ernesto Guevara in this film was indeed *the* Ernesto Guevara, I thought, "How brilliant." It doesn't set out to portray him as a saint (as a previous reviewer said), or as a villain-in-the-making. It's a very rare thing in cinema, or history studies in general: a portrait of a man as a man. What you make of the path Che later chose as a result of these experiences is a different matter entirely, and one frankly not related to this film at all.

    Some have cried, "Would you enjoy a movie that portrayed a young Hitler sympathetically?" My answer: a) that's really not an accurate comparison, and b) maybe, if it were this well written and acted and filmed. Imagine the story of the Beer Hall Putsch told in such a way that we really got into the youthful main character's mind to discover its workings and motivations. It wouldn't excuse what he did, but explain it in a more insightful way than the boiled-down mush we are served in our history books. This is what cinema should be used for more often.
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    56 of 70 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars A Myopic Look at an Iconic Figure November 27, 2005
    This is a tough review to write because of the subject matter we're dealing with: a militant revolutionary who became Castro's right-hand man during the 1959 Cuban revolt. But here in THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES film, we don't see this man; we see instead the formation of the person whom this man (Ernesto "Che" Guevara played by the talented Gael García Bernal)would become. He's a young idealist living in South America when he and a friend (Alberto Granado played by up-and-coming actor Rodrigo de la Serna) decide to take a road trip across the continent before bellying down into their chosen carriers in medicine.

    The film succeeds in giving us a very myopic view of these two men: Guevara for the initial changes he begins to go through as he witnesses injustices to the low and poor; Granado for his love of women and grudging dedication to Guevara. We travel with them on a 1939 Norton 500 motorcycle (my hat's off to the two actors who had to ACTUALLY learn to ride one of these behemoths!) as they argue with each other over money, their deficient form of transportation, and Guevara's unflinching honesty when asked delicate questions (this is brought into focus when they first meet a man - who looks very German - in a small village and asks Che and Granado to look at a lump on his neck, which Granado diagnoses as a cyst but Che calls a tumor).

    The cinematography was done exceptionally well on a small budget. The beauty of Machu Picchu, the green forests of Peru, the nothingness of various deserts, all added great visuals for the viewer.

    The film's faults lay with its omissions. Yes, Che was a thinking man. Yes, Che was concerned with humanity as a whole. But Che was also somewhat of a bigot.
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    39 of 50 people found the following review helpful
    I don't get some of the ranting reviews here that claim this movie has communist contours; there's as much radicalism in this film as there is Oriental Buddhism in Jackie Chan kungfu capers.

    I never felt that the movie couches any fiery or didactic political message, or that it even ought to.

    It's a romantic ode to the youthful Guevara, and truly captures the adventurism and empathy of his formative years that may have affected him in later life. The director is wise not to weigh his narrative down with too many explicit allusions to his eventual activist zeal.

    Whatever it's political underpinnings, at least it's a gorgeous looking picture, a trekker's fantasy that catalogs the ramshackle journey of a couple of young men who hailed from good stock, but gave all that up to set off on a rinkydink motorcycle to see places they'd only read about and meet people they'd never imagined.

    It is difficult not to fall in love with the stunning imagery that pervades the film, as we watch a neorealistic camera cut a vast Latin American skein from the snow-covered Andes, to the mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu, to a sprawling Chilean desert and a Peruvian river that the young Guevara swims across in the film's climax -- all physical destinations to be reached and crossed as well as stages in our protagonist's spiritual and psychological growth.

    Some traces of ham-handedness may be evident in the latter half, when Guevara speaks with a homeless person or a coarse day labor manager or an ostracized leper. But Bernal does a fabulous job of maintaining a perfect dose of traveler's passivity coupled with boyish inquisitiveness.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Pure genius! It was hysterical.
    Published 8 days ago by Victoria
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 9 days ago by ANGELICA HOYOS
    5.0 out of 5 stars On the Road, But a MUCH Different Road, Indeed
    Acted with honesty and integrity, this "road" film is so much more than it initially appears. Read more
    Published 11 days ago by Bob Kincaid
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    Hate that you cannot turn off subtitles on this.
    Movie itself is great
    Published 13 days ago by Sean
    5.0 out of 5 stars It is an interesting story. Parts of it didn't ...
    It is an interesting story. Parts of it didn't seem logical, but I found out at the end that is a true story.
    Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 16 days ago by Alicia
    5.0 out of 5 stars This movie will leave you speechless.
    One of the best movies ever made. Not a lot of dialogue,but the scenery and images will leave you marked. Read more
    Published 17 days ago by Young
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Awesome movie! Makes you want to go on an expedition!
    Published 21 days ago by Jose Manuel Gomez
    5.0 out of 5 stars recommended
    loved it

    shows Chuqui in Chile and Pucallpa, Peru -
    Published 24 days ago by Viennese needing space
    5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful portrait of character & a continent
    Excellent movie. Great story, more personal and historically interesting than we thought (expected might be just an American-style "road trip" flick). Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Kindles of Karen & David
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