Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Steven Soederbergh's two-part biopic of the iconic Argentinian doctor/revolutionary (Benicio del Toro, excellent) first shows his efforts in successfully uniting the people of Cuba to overthrow the government and install his friend Fidel Castro (Demian Bechir, also good) into power followed by his similarly mounted, but doomed campaign in Bolivia. In response to attacks on this film, Soederbergh decried the hypocritical damned if you do, damned if you don't situation where critics and audiences will chastise conventionialism in films then demand something more to the norm when they are presented with something totally off base. While I am inclined to agree with the eclectic director, I would also add that either way, a narrative drive is crucial, which is missing almost entirely from this four plus hour movie. I wouldn't even call "Che" a good documentative recreation (which is what it is striving for) because even nonfiction filmmakers know that their films must move to some end and hold some modicum of interest. Soederbergh's style is versatile and deep, but he stumbles greatly when he feels the need to (over)experiment (see "Bubble" or "The Girlfriend Experience". Or don't rather). Also, the film is so fawning, and although I am not an expert on Mr Guevara's life or politics, if what we are led to believe is true he was either an inerrant saint or we have been presented with a one-sided, incomplete though interminable portrait of a frankly uninteresting anarchist