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A modern Don Quixote,
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This review is from: Che (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The history books tell about the man, the doctor, the idealist, the revolutionary, Ernesto "Che" Guevara. This two-movie set shows, in bits and pieces, what the life of the revolutionaries must have looked and felt like. Part 1 is the (successful) Cuban revolution, part 2 is the (failed) Bolivian revolution. I have no idea how historically correct the presentation is. Since all these events occurred well before my time, I'll leave that evaluation to the readers of history. The "movie" (in two parts) is long, but it NEEDS to be that long. The story is quite complex and it does take time to unfold. Sorry folks, this movie is NOT a Hollywood production, so set your expectations accordingly. That said, the "politics" in the movie are undeniable. But frankly, I'd be upset if someone wanted to make a movie about a leftist "revolutionary" without presenting a strong leftist political view at the same time. Does anyone remember Z? What about the Quite American? Heck, does anyone remember the Great Dictator? Talk about politics in a Chaplin movie... But I care not about reviewing the politics in the movies. I do care about reviewing this movie.
I do not speak Spanish, so the original dialogue (in both movies) is lost on me. I have no sense how well the subtitles "covered" any subtleties in the exchanges between the characters. Maybe I missed too much, but in my eyes there are quite a few characters for which we do not see their raison d'etre. Still, the story over all made sense to me. The performances present very clearly the absolute devotion to the ideas of the "people's revolution". In many ways these are monolithic characters, but at the same time, like Quixote, are driven by unadulterated idealism, to the bitter end. As I said, no Hollywood happy endings here.
This being a recent movie, there are no "restoration" issues of an old film to worry about. The blu-ray presents a great picture and a clean sound stage, as one might expect from any recent movie transfer to blu.