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Raul Julia's finest moment as an actor was also one of the finest Latin American-themed films of all time. Julia portrayed the diligent bishop Oscar Romero with an aplomb which few actors could have embodied. Sadly, this film ends up as nothing but a blip on the map. Few people have actually experienced the power and creativity placed into this film. Perhaps it was too political or too dark, what ever the reason, it will remain one of my favorite films of all time. Perhaps years from now, the appreciation this movie deserves will be given to it.
"Romero" is about injustice in the world but presents this theme without "preaching." It draws in the viewer through the excellent performance of Raul Julia (rest his soul! he is missed!). "Romero" is also about class differences and the intolerance of the powerful towards social change. It's a great film for teaching Americans about what life is like in the rest of the world. It's a Hollywood film that managed not to go Hollywood.
I'll always remember the name Raul Julio for this picture. I guess I
don't really remember him in other films except for smaller roles. This
was one of his acting career highlights, I would assume.
This is a powerful movie based on history in the late '70s in El Salvardor, where a country's leaders were killing thousands of dissidents including clergy in the Roman Catholic Church. Julia plays "Archbishop Romero." He is interesting to watch and the center of the story.
This is a violent, sometimes unpleasant movie to watch but if your concerned about profanity or sex, you don't have to worry: it's not here. That's hard to find in a modern action-drama.
The downside was that despite the above, the story just wasn't that memorable to me. Also, I have serious questions about the slant in here. Knowing the film world, I know which way it would be politically and, frankly, I don't know the real story....but as a movie, it's not bad.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The film Romero follows the career of Oscar Romero through his rise to
power as the archbishop of San Salvador to his life in politics and
ultimately his assassination. The film offers an insightful look into
the political situation of El Salvador during the 1970's. Like many
countries of Latin America at the time, the nation was ruled by a
brutal regime run largely by the military. Political assassinations and
repression of all kinds were common place. The working people of El
Salvador were also forced to endure the hardships of poverty and
economic instability. The film is interesting to watch because it shows
the controversy over the difficult roles that many in the Catholic
Church felt compelled to play in the midst of the situation. According
to the film, many in the Catholic Church, including many priests and
eventually the archbishop himself, saw the political and economic
situation in El Salvador as terribly unjust. Several priests began to
speak out publicly on behalf of the people suffering in their
congregations. This kind of political activism agitated the military
regime and resulted in a crackdown on elements within the church
including the assassination and repression of activist priests. As a
result of this persecution, the newly appointed archbishop of San
Salvador was forced to become more involved in the situation. As the
political repression and injustice continued, the reluctant Oscar
Romero began to speak more publicly on his opposition to the government
and its policies. The film offers a remarkable insight into the
political and cultural situation of the country. At the same time, the
film documents the life and struggles of Oscar Romero during his tenure
as archbishop of San Salvador.
Much of the film's drama is centered on Romero's reluctance to get involved in the political debate that was engulfing his country. In fact, the film focuses as much on the character's personal transformation as it does on his politics. According to the film, when Romero was instated as archbishop it was only because he was viewed as an intellectual moderate who would keep the church from getting too involved in the political affairs of the country. As the film progresses, however, the political repression becomes increasingly violent. With the assassination of a priest and the military's desecration of the Eucharist in a Catholic church, Oscar Romero was shaken into action. He frequently began to speak publicly against the injustices of the political regime. It was interesting to watch Romero increasingly identify himself with the suffering of the people of El Salvador. At the beginning of the film, Romero was shown to have a close relationship with several of the wealthy elites that were controlling the country. Many of the military and political leaders attended his inauguration. He received gifts from them and enjoyed a close relationship with several powerful figures in San Salvador. As the film progressed, however, these relationships quickly began to deteriorate. As Romero increasingly identified with the suffering and persecuted people of El Salvador, his relationship with the ruling elites also began to suffer. In a particular scene, Romero declined to perform a private baptism for the child of a wealthy family. Instead, Romero told the family that they must baptize their child alongside all the other children at a regular Sunday Mass. The wealthy mother was horrified at the thought. It was this way that Romero increasingly began to identify himself with the lower-class people. In another scene, Romero is seen speaking on the radio about the church's need to defend the needs of the poor and underprivileged in society. It was this kind of "radical" thinking that earned Romero enemies within the government. Eventually Romero's "agitations" became too much for the military-backed government to bear. The film doesn't say if it was the government or simply an overzealous supporter of the military-regime, but Romero was eventually assassinated for speaking out in support of the poverty-stricken masses of his country. Regarded as supporting communist subversives, the military leaders began to view the archbishop as a threat to their grip on power. The film ends with the dramatic assassination in which Romero was gunned down in the church while performing the communion ceremony for his congregation. At the end of the film, the text stated that in the nine years following the assassination or Archbishop Romero, more than sixty-thousand Salvadorians were killed under the military regime. To me, this film demonstrates the tragic brutality of many of the Latin American military regimes that emerged in the late 20th Century. After viewing this film, I have a newfound respect for the person and philosophy of Oscar Romero.
This was a pretty good film, about the real life story of the archbishop of EL Salvador, Oscar Romero. Raul Julia gives a good performance as the title character. The music is effective and interesting; at times it sounds almost like helicopter blades. If you close your eyes when you watch the beginning, you could almost think this film was about Vietnam. Some aspects of this film were not that great though. Some scenes appeared to be cut off too early or in odd ways.
An absorbing film that tackles violence in the harshest terms and is led by an angelic performance by the great Raul Julia. Like "Schindler's List," Romero sacrifices everything for peace and survival. He's willing to stand with his people and take brutality as they do. A remarkable film!
Even though the situation has changed considerably in El Salvador, this
is still very enjoyable. I've seen it shortly after it was released and I
just saw it again. Same verdict. Very good movie. Raul Julia is simply
fabulous as Romero, the Archbishop who was talking about peace while it
seems everybody else was talking about war. The final scene in the church
7 out of 10.
What an amazing story. In a movie world full of so many stories that have very little meaning, it is inspiring to watch a movie about a man that inspired a nation. I have always loved the story of this great man's life. After watching the movie, so will you. I have watched this movie by myself, with friends and now I plan to watch it with my children. I want them to see what one man's passion can do for a nation in turmoil. Many Latino nations celebrate his life as a model of what a modern Christian should be like. I celebrate his life as a model of what I aspire to be. The movie is filled with passion and a great cast that makes every incident, every scene and every word come alive. The setting is true to the historical setting of the time when this man of God lived and worked with the people of El Salvador. The story line and acting are easy to follow and the characters are so amazingly played that you will fall in love with them. Watch this movie. I seriously recommend it.
Raul Julia gives his routine wonderful performance as Oscar Romero,
Archbishop of San Salvador, capital of El Salvador, playground of
right-wing paramilitary militia sponsored by successive military juntas
subsidized by the CIA and successive US Administrations. Archbishop
Romero slowly evolved from a bookworm to a politically aware activist
as he came to realize what the military regimes were doing to the poor
of his country. He paid the ultimate price willingly. Unlike today's
cowards, who proclaim martyrdom and kill themselves and a few or many
others in the name of some sterile ideology, Romero accepted martyrdom
in the name of a living gospel he deeply believed in, in order to save
lives, not to take them.
Julia looks absolutely nebbish in his glasses, and proves his genius as a thespian. Alas, he is not with us any longer, so that pretty boys of 2005 can only watch his films and learn how to act.
Highly recommended film, especially for the vast majority of US citizens who think that Ronald Reagan and his ilk actually did good things in El Salvador, Nicaragua and other places in America.
Easily the best political movie in the past 20 years. If you watch this movie and are not moved by the story of the abuse and the archbishop's fight against it, you need to go to a doctor to see if your heart is still in your chest. While it is a moving film, it is also very disturbing because of the graphic nature of some of the abuse suffered by characters in the film. A must see for Catholics. While the events depicted in the movie are true, keep in mind that there are exaggerations and omissions. Don't believe everything that is in a political movie as fact. Check out the story yourself from respected sources on both sides of the argument.
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