Thursday, March 1, 2012


Venezuelan Ilich Ramirez Sanchez was an idealist leftist who joined the Palestinian Liberation Front in 1974 and began an international campaign of terror lasting twenty years. Known as Carlos the Jackal, Sanchez perpetrated an airline bombing, the murder of three French custom officials, and the infamous OPEC takeover amongst other subversive acts before losing his standards and becoming a self-consumed tyrant before his imminent arrest. Olivier Assayas' "Carlos" is an ambitious look at the brazen and pompous terrorists life, told over the course of a three part, five plus hour miniseries. Edgar Ramirez is fierce in the lead role, often transforming himself during the many changes of Carlos' life. It was recommended to me that I watch the full miniseries, rather than the abbreviated movie, but after an exhilarating first part the film slows down to near snail's pace and becomes off putting during the hero's decline. Although it is a well made film about an enigmatic figure and featuring a strong lead performance, "Carlos" is probably best taken in the small dosage.