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The Dancer Upstairs (2002)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 5,182 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 71 user | 87 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

A police detective in a South American country is dedicated to hunting down a revolutionary guerilla leader.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Agustín Rejas
...
Sucre
...
Yolanda
...
Llosa
Alexandra Lencastre ...
Sylvina Rejas
...
Merino
Luís Miguel Cintra ...
Calderón
Javier Manrique ...
Clorindo
Abel Folk ...
Ezequiel / Durán
Marie-Anne Berganza ...
Laura
Lucas Rodríguez ...
Gómez
Xabier Elorriaga ...
Pascual
...
Marina
...
Santiago
Ramiro Jiménez ...
Sergeant Pisac
Edit

Storyline

The story of Detective Agustin Rejas, a man clinging to the hope of an impossible love in an impossible world. Tracking Ezequiel, a delusional anarchist who incites the downtrodden masses to join in his brutal revolution against the fascist government in their unnamed Latin American country, Rejas finds solace in his sense of self-respect and the joy that his daughter and wife bring him. Then he meets Yolanda--his daughter's soulfully beautiful ballet teacher--a woman who sparks his long-forgotten passions and represents all that is good and all that is corrupt in their troubled country. But she, who appears to be a shelter from the storm, may in actuality be the storm's eye. Ultimately, as the revolution intensifies and the net closes around hunter and hunted alike, the dancer's truth will prove as elusive as the revolutionary's cause and the detective's peace. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An honest man caught in a world of intrigue, power and passion.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 September 2002 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Sendero de sangre  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$106,142 (USA) (2 May 2003)

Gross:

$2,374,732 (USA) (15 August 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story is inspired by the Maoist insurgency in Peru known as the Shining Path. Its leader Abimael Guzmán, who was known by the nom de guerre President Gonzalo, was captured in an apartment above a ballet studio in the capital Lima in 1992. The ballet teacher Yolanda was based on Maritza Garrido Lecca, the woman in whose apartment Guzmán was found. Bardem's character was inspired by Benedicto Jimenez and General Antonio Ketin Vidal, the leading figures responsible for Guzmán's capture. See more »

Goofs

The camera that Bardem uses to take Ezekiel's picture at the military checkpoint is a either a Polaroid Model 95 made from 1948 to 1953, or the Model 95B was discontinued in 1958. The picture that Bardem holds is a square format SX70 color shot identified buy its square format and black square on the back. This picture which could not have come from the camera used by Bardem. See more »

Quotes

[Rejas and Sucre are looking at a dead dog hanging from a lamp-post, with dynamite stuck down its throat]
Sucre: What sort of a person would do that?
Agustín Rejas: I don't know, but I wouldn't entirely rule out a cat-lover.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers would like to thank ... the residents of Narcisos Street ... See more »

Connections

Featured in Revealing 'The Dancer Upstairs' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Cygne
(1886)
from "Le Carnaval des Animaux"
Written by Camille Saint-Saëns (as Camile Saints-Saëns)
Performed by Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich (as Marta Argerich)
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very interesting movie with a semi-political subject
18 December 2004 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Having seen "Being John Malkovich" recently, I expected a lot from "The Dancer Upstairs" and I have to admit that I really was enchanted by it. Even though it never says which country in South America this story is based on, it's clear that it must be Peru. There just are too many references to the rebel movement The Shining Path, president Fujimori... But it's good that it never says that it is actually Peru. There are more South American dictatorships, more rebel movements...

It tells the story of an ex-lawyer who has become police officer, because he wanted justice to be done in the right way. He has to hunt down and arrest a revolutionary guerilla leader, but as he digs deeper, he'll find out that more people are actually supporting the rebels than he thought, even the people that he never suspected...

What I liked so much about the movie is the way it portrays everything. It doesn't fear to show the violence committed by both sides, but also shows the beautiful side of the country (its landscapes, its culture,...). Some say this is clearly a right-wing movie and that Malkovich is right wing as well. What has the political preference of the director to do with it? This movie isn't right-wing, nor is it left-wing. It clearly shows both sides, giving you the police detective who works for the right-wing government, who falls in love with the left-wing activist.

If there is one remark that I have to make, than it must be the fact that the actors didn't speak in Spanish. Now they had some weird Spanish-English accent. But all the rest was really very good. I give it an 8.5/10.


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