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A doctor in Paraguay runs a clinic funded by sales of his artwork in America. While in America, he tries to expose the repressive Paraguayan regime. His obsession brings repercussions from the government against his family. Some movies based on true stories seem to over-dramatize events or relationships to convey their points. This movie suffers a bit from caricatures in the familial relationships, and it hurts the pacing in the beginning of the movie. That aside, after some slow development, the characters flesh out and the movie improves a great deal. Overall, a good movie
What brought me to this film were three factors: 1) Sir Anthony Hopkins
and the fact that I've never heard of this film until recently; 2)
director Sérgio Toledo, whose film "Vera" was the latest one I've seen
and it's one of Brazil's greatest film of all so I really wanted to see
what he could do with a foreigner cast and 3) a film that takes place
in Paraguay during Stroessner dictatorship, this thematic rarely
presented in films even today. I liked this film but I must say that I
won't look forward to see it again due to its poor aspects of
presenting a real story that had everything to be greater that it's
In "One Man's War", Hopkins plays an English medical doctor living with his family in Paraguay and treating the poor people from the surroundings, who has his life turned upside down when his son was mysteriously murdered in what could have been an attack to him since he's opposed to the military dictatorship of the country. The doctor and his family will take lots of risk while trying to prove that the government was involved in the murder.
The story is too simple, at times very unrealistic but for the most part is quite melodramatic, and it takes a lot to make us immersed in it. It gets helped by the performances of Hopkins, Norma Aleandro, Fernanda Torres (always excellent) and Rubén Blades (playing the lawyer who helps the family in this journey). Maybe it was because I've seen countless films with this theme (resembles "Missing" a lot but never touches its greatness) or unknown reasons but I felt that this film missed something, it never fulfilled much of my hopes which is sad because Toledo demonstrated great talent in "Vera". To make things even sadder this is his last film, and according to trivia section he quit making films after getting a hard time from the perfectionist main star. Don't know if this was real or not but every rumor has a little bit of truth hidden but since then he has not directed anything else.
Hopkins fans and those who love real life stories with lots of tension and drama will like this. 6/10
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