Friday, February 26, 2010

CHE: PART ONE (2008)

"What is the most important quality for a revolutionary to possess?” asked an American reporter.
“Love…a true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love…love of humanity, justice and truth,” replied the greatest revolutionary figure of 20th century.

If you have seen ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’, you very well know what spark transformed a topper medical student into the great revolutionary called Ernesto Che Guevara. The first part of the film tells the story from then onwards about how his bonding with Fidel Castro brought revolution and freedom to free Cuba by toppling Batista’s dictatorial government. The film is an epic journey of Che and Castro along with bunch of young men believed in same ideology to bring historical revolution. It’s great film about great man and where most often biographical films trying to seek attention with hype, this film seems like unsung praiseworthy accomplishment. And all credit goes to two people- Director Steven Soderbergh and Producer-Actor Benicio Del Toro.

Benicio Del Toro gave a performance of lifetime. It was damn difficult to carry the realistic and consistent character of such a historical figure in a grand film like this consists of two parts with duration of more than four hours but Del Toro carried it with great aplomb. What is more impressive is he never overshadows the character above human and that’s something which only few actors can do. He deserved Cannes Best Actor trophy by all means. Watch him delivering the Marxist driven ‘Homeland or death’ speech at UN assembly or fighting and leading the troops for Cuban revolution amid his asthmatic condition or diagnosing poor peasants during his journey is something so multidimensional about this visionary man of principles which you would love to carry even after the film is over. The final scene stays with a great message reminding revolutionary that sticking to principles is more important after war is won.

Steven Soderbergh has presented Che in all flesh and blood emphasizing his humanitarian face guided by spirit of conscience in the film so authentically with fascinating combination of linear and nonlinear narration. It’s equally brilliant screenplay by Peter Buchman based on Che Guevara’s original diaries. Technically the film is astounding one too with brilliant sound mixing of action sequences, exclusive camera work by Peter Andrews where he captured significant political parts of movie shot in black & white authentic documentary style; quite cinema verite and rest of the chronological events in natural color. A laudable effort.

Request you to watch it on Blu-ray disc/rip off to enjoy the great sound and visual clarity; this film deserves it.


P.S- Can’t resist quoting few great lines of the film by reel/real Che Guevara:

# “A country that doesn’t know how to read and write is easy to deceive.”

# “In capitalist system people live in an invisible cage, for example, they accept the myth of the self-made man, but they do not understand that opportunities for majority are determined by the forces completely beyond individual control.”

# “It’s very easy to claim that in capitalism the individual has the option to satisfy or to express true human nature. A child has one toy and wants two, that child get two toys and wants four. This is human nature, isn’t it? But when a whole society behaves in that same way or when it becomes a monopoly oppressing the less fortunate… is that human nature? This is when exactly you have to do something.”

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