Friday, August 7, 2009

Movie Review: The Motorcycle Diaries

Actually, it would be more accurate to call this a rave rather than a review. I watched this movie last night and loved it. I liked it so much, in fact, that I'm thinking about renewing it so I can watch it again in a day or two instead of taking it back to the library tomorrow.

It's a biopic, the story of the young Che Guevara and a road trip he undertook with a friend in 1952. They started from Buenos Aires, Argentina, on a not especially reliable Norton 500 motorcycle, and six months later arrived in Caracas, Venezuela. The settings are spectacular, the acting appears to be first-rate (hard to tell for sure when you're reading subtitles), and Che's evolution from a middle class med student whose biggest goal in life is to get into his girlfriend's pants into a revolutionary is fascinating.

This is an engrossing and entertaining movie. It begins in typical road trip fashion, a buddy comedy, two young guys out for adventure while taking a break from the university. It's pretty light-hearted initially, despite the difficulties the guys have along the way (not much cash for buying meals, for example, and the motorcycle keeps breaking down), but gradually Che and Alberto begin to recognize the extreme poverty and hardship around them, the disparities between rich and poor in South America, and a more serious tone emerges. You can see Che changing, and you can also see that he and Alberto are going to go in separate directions once the trip ends.

One of the cooler parts of the movie is right at the end when as they're rolling the credits they include the original photos Che and Alberto took along the road.

The one downside is it is in Spanish, and subtitles can be distracting. I personally find subtitles annoying because I like to be able to do needlecrafts while watching television, and having to keep up with subtitles makes quilting awkward.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this movie, too. It is one of those rare movies that give an insight to how people "become."


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